How do we love our neighbors?

One of our values as a church is relational evangelism, which means we look for ways to remove unnecessary barriers that keep people from Jesus. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How do we love our neighbors? We start with being relational.

Click on the sections below to see practical ways you can be a good neighbor.

  • Start with identifying your eight nearest neighbors. Chart it out on a piece of paper. If you can, write down their names and any relevant info you know about them. You’ll find that we usually don’t know a lot about our neighbors. We have to identify who our neighbors are before we can move to the next step. You now know where to begin!
  • Begin praying for your neighbors on a regular basis. Pray that God would present opportunities for you to interact with them.
  • Move to the front yard. Culturally, we keep to ourselves in our backyards with our fences. This builds a barrier. Look for ways to be in the front yard. Put yourself into proximity with your neighbors. You’ll be surprised at who you see.
  • Start simple. It begins with a smile and saying hi. Ask basic questions. You don’t need to memorize a pitch or be prepared with a great evangelism plan. Take every opportunity to talk with your neighbors and watch for opportunities to go deeper.
  • Don’t force it. Don’t try to create artificial situations just so that you can talk with your neighbors. Authenticity is important. But when you notice an older neighbor struggling to shovel the driveway, offer to do it for them. When you need something, don’t be afraid to ask a neighbor if they can help. If you’re standing at the bus stop with your kids, engage with other parents. If your neighborhood does a garage sale, walk around and introduce yourself. Use ordinary moments as they present themselves.
  • Read The Art of Neighboring.  

Once you begin to build rapport with your neighbors, consider additional ways that you can serve them and build relationship:
  • Bake cookies or treats and share them with your neighbors.
  • Have a bonfire in your driveway and make s’mores or play yard games.
  • Show an outdoor movie and invite your neighbors to join.
  • Work with your HOA to organize a block party. Have people pitch in food and spend time together.
  • Invite neighbors over to watch sports or participate in an activity you enjoy.
  • Offer to care for your neighbors’ home while they’re out of town. Can you get their mail? Water their plants? Be a blessing in some way?
  • Once you have a solid relationship with a neighbor, consider inviting them to a Traders Point campus. Offer to attend with them.
  • If a neighbor shares something difficult going on in their life, take time to listen. Ask if you can pray for them. Follow up and see how they’re doing. 

  • Take the opportunity to intentionally pray for people who don’t know Jesus.
  • Sometime during the week, when you’re at work or at the store or running an errand, look for people around you. Smile, introduce yourself, and connect in a way you normally wouldn’t.
  • Write a note of encouragement for someone, or drop a fun card in the mail.