Neighboring is something we’ve come to love since the day we moved to Colorado to plant Storyline Fellowship. While we haven’t mastered the art of neighboring, this is something we continue to lean into. We’ve tried to simplify what it means to be a good neighbor and build relationships with the people God has placed around us. Here are 10 ideas of ways to get to know your neighbors, ranging from easy to hard.
- Borrow something
This sounds so simple, but it really works. Recently, a neighbor rang our doorbell and asked to borrow some flour. That request created an immediate connection. It’s a demonstration of humility when you walk across the street and say, “Can you help me?” Good neighbors learn how to rely on one another. If you have a neighbor who’s especially handy, reach out to borrow a tool. Just remember to return it!
- Invite your neighbor to go for a walk
If you’re not a walker, then have a cup of coffee with a neighbor on your porch. Getting fresh air is a simple way to bond with another person.
- Host a s’mores night around a campfire
Before you know it, you’ll be laughing and swapping stories. This is a great idea for the fall.
- Pizza on the porch
When the weather’s nice, shoot your neighbors a text inviting them for an easy dinner on the porch where everybody chips in for the food.
- Plan a street party
We got this idea from a neighbor when we moved to Nashville. She sent everyone in the neighborhood an email with a link to sign up with their name, phone number, and what they were going to bring. The day of the party she had tables set out with tablecloths, plates, and napkins.
- Start a group text with your neighbors
I (Ben) sent a thread to all the guys on our street that said, “Hey, if anybody’s ever missing duct tape or WD-40 or something, throw that need in this thread, and surely one of us has it.” That group text has become extremely helpful and has created a connection with the men on our street.
- Start a fantasy football league or March Madness tournament bracket
This is a great way to get to know the sports fans on your street. Host a fantasy football draft at your house or a Final Four watch party.
- Give a simple gift
Choose something inexpensive like a candle, a bottle of scented hand soap, or a plant. Attach a note and leave it on their front porch. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to place a gift on every neighbor’s porch with a note saying, “Thankful to have you as a good neighbor.” It’s a simple and thoughtful gesture people appreciate.
- Take advantage of seasons and holidays
Have a back-to-school party when it’s time for kids to return to the classroom. Kick off the summer with hot dogs and lemonade. Host a chili cookoff or pumpkin-carving contest in the fall. Decorate gingerbread houses leading up to Christmas. The options are endless.
- Host a different neighbor in your home once a month
Whether it’s to watch a game together or share a meal, commit to protecting one day of each month. This idea requires the most intentionality. It also requires planning ahead, but it’s so worth it. There’s something about sharing a meal together that changes a relationship. So, when you have someone in your home, put some chicken on the grill and hang out around your table.
We hope these suggestions fuel more ideas for developing deeper relationships with your neighbors. We’ve been placed in the world and on our streets for such a time as this. Let’s steward our lives and ministries well by inviting people into them.