Neighboring isn’t one more thing to find time to do during a busy holiday season—it fits into the natural rhythm of your life! Whether it’s striking up a conversation at a coffee shop you regularly visit, connecting with another parent at a sporting event your kids are in, encouraging a teacher your children interact with, talking to someone at the gym, building a relationship with a co-worker, or caring for a family member, there are countless ways to engage with the people around you for the sake of the gospel.
Instead of being something extra to add, intentional neighboring is something to include in the relationships you already have. Small Groups are a great way to multiply your efforts during the holidays. Small Groups can pray together for opportunities, or maybe even pursue an idea together to reach even more people. And, remember that “neighbors” include family members. Many people will interact with family members during the holidays and have opportunities for gospel conversations. Let’s commit to pray for one another as we encourage each other to share Jesus with our families.
Here are a few practical ideas for “neighboring” for Christmas and New Year’s.
- Organize a mother/daughter cookie bake
- Host a cookie exchange
- Give a small gift to people who are part of your regular rhythms (coworkers/sports parents/regular barista, literal neighbors, etc)
- Invite your neighbors to the Christmas Concert
- Invite a friend or coworker to one of our Christmas Eve services
- Go caroling in your neighborhood
- Participate in the Donut Dash with your neighbors
- Intentionally encourage a co-worker or neighbor for 25 days
- Host a CEF Holiday Party for the kids in your neighborhood
- Offer to babysit for your neighbors while they do holiday shopping
- Be mindful of the elderly and ask how you can serve them (decorate, cook a meal, bring them to church, provide transportation, etc)
- Host a New Year’s party for your neighbors
- Ask your neighbors for prayer requests you can pray for during our church-wide prayer month (January)
- Go sledding and bring hot chocolate
And this is just the beginning! There are literally countless ways to be creative and find new ways to engage with your neighbors, friends, and coworkers through the holiday season.