Show of hands: Who would jump at the chance to fulfill the Great Commission in a way that's both simple and FUN? ✋
Of course you would! I'll bet most of the people at your church would, too.
My church has put our heads together and come up with some really fun ways to bring our neighborhoods together, with spectacular results.
We're called to love our neighbors. At my church, we take this as literally as possible with "neighborhood outreach". What this looks like is a few members make their home ground zero for bringing their immediate neighbors together.
And with Fall around the corner, there's no better time in the year to launch the below ideas at your church.
I can vouch for each of these because we've done all of them at my church. We've been blown away by how open our neighbors have been to all of this and how it's transformed our communities. An added bonus is that these don't take a great deal of effort and are an absolute BLAST.
Just a couple of months ago, my wife and I printed flyers and passed them around to every home in our neighborhood inviting them to a BBQ in our front yard. We had no idea who would come or what to expect. But the turnout was incredible!
People we had never had the chance to talk to came and spent hours on our lawn. A few members of our church were there, too. We got to make some wonderful Gospel connections.
Instead of one person firing up the grill, the whole neighborhood could pitch in by bringing a dish. That way more of your neighbors get invested in the event.
Does one of your members have a big garage door or a wide section on the side of their house? Grab the church's projector and some extra folding chairs, warm up some hot cocoa or apple cider, and have a family-friendly movie night!
This activity is aimed at giving the kids something fun, but the adults spend extra time working together to pull it off.
This one will require more coordination between the adults in the neighborhood, but that extra time working together would yield better connections in the long run.
Do a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt! Not only do you get to spend time with your neighbors and give the kids something fun to do, but the Gospel message is the bedrock of the whole event!
This one is the easiest. All you need is some wood and a wide enough space for people to sit and chat.
Marshmallows are not required, but highly recommended!
Remember having sleepovers as a kid? We've taken that concept and made it fun for the whole neighborhood!
This one is great, because who doesn't love warm brownies and cookies? With a Bakeover, our members open their kitchens up to everyone. Each neighbor can bring an ingredient for a baked dessert, then spend time together chatting while the kids play in the yard.
In my experience, the best way to get the word out is to pass around flyers to every home you can. The more you hand out, the better the turnout.
Yard signs help, too. Whatever way you can give people a visual to inform them of the event will do the trick.
When our neighbors have asked us why we're doing these events, we've given them all the same answer:
We didn't bring ulterior motives, we weren't there to trap them into something they didn't want or expect. We simply wanted to meet them, make them feel welcome, and love them. The results have been friendlier neighborhoods, gospel-centered conversations, and Great Commission neighborly love.