God loves San Diego, and He wants every single person in our county to hear the Good News of Jesus. Whether you know each of your neighbors, or you tend to keep to yourself, God knows their names, and He wants a relationship with them.
2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT says, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’”
As Christ’s ambassadors, God puts us in our neighborhoods for such a time as this to reach the men and women who live to the right, left, across from, and behind us. God wants us to be salt and light to the people around us, but where do we start?
Here are 10 simple ways to begin building a relationship with your neighbors, so you can point them toward Christ.
- Know their names. Knowing your neighbors by name is the first step toward building a relationship that points them toward Jesus. But, remembering names can be tricky. That’s why our team at All San Diego has fallen in love with the Bless Every Home App. It is an app all about mapping out your neighborhood by name, so you can start a relationship and pray for them by name.
- Remember details about them. If your neighbors notice that you’re listening, they’ll be more likely to open up to you. The good news is, you can write down notes about them in your Bless Every Home app. You can mark when you meet them by clicking the green “Care” icon. You can mark those who are active disciples of Christ by clicking the “Disciples” icon. Knowing details about your neighbors will begin to open doors to building an authentic relationship with them.
- Offer to serve them. While you’re mowing your lawn, offer to mow theirs. Offer to take their dog out when you go for a walk. If you see them working on a house project, offer to help. When we humbly approach others with an offer to help, it breaks down walls for them to see our hearts, and, ultimately, the heart of our Savior.
- Invite them. Going to a park with your kids? Invite them. Making a fun dinner on Friday? Invite them. Going to the beach on Saturday? Invite them. Authentic relationships form around genuine, shared interests. So, show them that you want to be their friend by inviting them to do some of the things that you enjoy doing. Even better, invite their family to come over for dinner at your house. Opening the door of your home has power in opening the way to a relationship, where you can share Jesus with them.
- Bring a meal. Major life events like a new baby or a death in the family can be an opportunity to care for your neighbors. It doesn’t have to be fancy–you could even order them a pizza–but bringing them a meal shows you care about what they are going through, which builds trust.
- Talk openly about your faith. It can be intimidating to share a complete Gospel presentation. But, as you get to know people in your neck of San Diego, simply include Jesus in your conversations. Talk about what you’ve been praying for lately. Talk about what God is teaching you. Mention your church. You could even ask them how you can be praying for them. People are remarkably more open to receiving prayer post-COVID than many were before.
- Drop off dessert. Fresh chocolate chip cookies are always appreciated! If you’re making something, make a double batch, so you can bring a little joy to someone in your community.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a favor. Allowing them to help you will make them feel more connected to you, so let them help! Plus, it may help your neighbor understand that you are willing to help out if and when they need something. Maybe ask them to bring in your trash cans or water your plants while you’re on vacation. Simple asks can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship where you can, eventually, share Jesus.
- Take advantage of the seasons. Weather changes and holidays open the door for great chances to connect! Have a free lemonade stand on a hot day. People love getting things for free, and you may just make someone’s day! Or, give out hot cocoa on Halloween instead of hiding in your house with the lights off. Pick a holiday, and plan a block party. Let your neighbors see you and get to know you. Plus, this provides an opportunity for all of your neighbors to meet and mingle in a low-pressure setting. Seasons give you an excuse to connect, so leverage them creatively for God’s glory!
- Send a card. Say you’re thankful that you’re neighbors! Thank them for being courteous or quiet or friendly. Let them know that they’ve made a difference in your life! Cards are an especially easy way to use your voice when you’re having a hard time getting the words out. Say you’re praying for them or that you would love to grab coffee sometime.
These are just ten ways to begin connecting with your neighbors, so you can bless them with what they really need, which is a relationship with Jesus. It all begins by getting to know their names.
Anyone can share the Good News with their neighbors. Especially you. Download the Bless Every Home app today and get started loving those around you!