What does loving your neighbor look like during this COVID-19 season? In Luke 10, when Jesus sends out the 72 to all the towns where Jesus himself was planning to visit in the near future, he tells them to do very practical, everyday things (eat and drink with them; pray for them; heal the sick; remain with them), all in the posture of one who is bringing the peace of God and proclaiming that the kingdom of God is near.
What are those practical, everyday things that followers of Jesus Christ can do in their own neighborhoods today that will bring the peace of God? What will help our neighbors get a taste of the Kingdom of God?
Resonate Global Mission leaders have compiled a list of practical, creative ideas for you. We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you try them! Share what you’re learning about yourself, about your community, and where you’re seeing God at work.
Note: in all these things, we recommend that you follow health guidelines such as maintaining social distancing, staying home if you are sick, and washing your hands.
Sharing peace through fun!
- Drop off sidewalk chalk on your neighbor’s porches, and invite them to color their sidewalks, creating a walkable art gallery throughout your neighborhood
- Develop a scavenger hunt: cut out 20 symbols of spring from paper, and number them. Hide them throughout your neighborhood, within view of the sidewalk. Invite your neighbors to see if they can spot them as they take a walk.
- Trade board games, books, art supplies, and puzzles with your neighbors.
- Invite a local physical fitness leader to lead a class outdoors in your neighborhood.
- Using chalk, write encouraging, cheerful messages on the sidewalk for people to find when they walk by.
- Play games over video conferencing (charades, Bingo, trivia challenges).
- Offer an online story time to the families in your neighborhood as a way to connect with the children and give their parents a little break.
- Sharing peace with those who may be lonely
- Call one of your elderly neighbors every day just to say hi and see how they are doing.
- Help your non-tech-savvy neighbors with using video conferencing to connect with their family and friends.
- Set up bird-feeding stations outside of the window of an eldery neighbor.
Sharing peace through making connections
- If your neighborhood didn’t already have a contact list before this outbreak, you’re probably now realizing the value of one. Drop off a note to each of your neighbors inviting them to email you their contact information if they want to be included. Compile this information and distribute copies to your neighbors.
- Print out "neighbor" business cards with your contact information to share with your neighbors in order to ensure that people have contact information.
- Connect with the neighbors in your specific neighborhood by signing up for an account on Nextdoor.com. If your neighborhood isn’t on there yet, you can create it!
- Have your kids become Pen Pals with someone in the neighborhood. They can share letters back and forth and make a new friend!
Sharing peace through serving
- If you’re making a trip to the grocery store, offer to pick up any groceries your neighbors need.
- Spend time doing neighborhood cleanup: picking up litter, spring landscape cleanup, etc.
- Partner with local organizations that are distributing food to those who are in need.
- Talk with local businesses about how they are affected and how the neighborhood can support them.
Sharing peace through prayer
- Pray for your neighbors (by name, if you can!). If you don’t know what to pray for, use this prayer: Lord, we pray that you will pour out your Spirit on ___. Reveal Christ to ___, Shape ____ in the character of Christ, and Equip ___ for the mission of Christ.
- Prayer walk through your neighborhood, praying for the peace and well-being of your community.
- Set up a prayer phone line through your church, where people can leave their contact information to have someone call them and pray with them over the phone.
Written by Amy Schenkel, Resonate Global Mission's Regional Mission Leader for the Great Lakes Region. This was originally published on The Network.