A Word about Being Neighborly
My wife teaches me a great deal about ministry through hospitality. One of the aspects of her hospitality efforts is being neighborly. I’m learning that small gifts, short cards, and homemade bread go a long way to opening doors to the Gospel.
We have lived in our present home for two years. We work regularly to minster to our neighbors by any opportunity available. One way I have learned to be neighborly is to learn the names of newcomers to the neighborhood. In these past two years three families have moved onto our block. Each time a new family moves in my wife bakes some bread, wraps it nicely, puts it in a cute basket, and insists all the family march down to their house to greet them. The bread, family, and kindness make them immediately open to us. We don’t go in many houses but we do have many curbside conversations.
This Christmas my wife wrote simple Christmas cards to the neighbors we know the best. She baked sweets and wrapped them nicely to present to our friends. We took them around as a family and made a quick visit. In about an hour we delivered 15 gifts this way. Along with the gifts we took to the better known neighbors (among whom includes every newcomer), we delivered to the rest of our neighbors invitations to our Light of the World block party. In a few days we will gather to sing carols, drink (non-alcoholic) cider, and tell the Christmas story. Our neighbors will gather in good spirits and hear the story of our hope.
My wife’s hospitality has opened the doors to the Gospel. Those curbside conversations, made possible through simple neighborly outreach, have opened the doors to the deepest troubles of many a neighbor. God has made my family the minister to this neighborhood. It’s a small ministry and nothing unusual, but God accomplishes great spiritual work through being neighborly.