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Man shaking hands with a neighbor

Summer generally means nicer weather and more leisure time, both of which make being present with and attentive to our neighbors easier. Where could you be spontaneously intentional about connecting with those around you this summer? 

On the Go Local journey, we begin with the practice of listening not only to the Spirit through the text and one another but through our neighbors! Listening involves slowing down, making space and time to pay attention, to be in the moment, open to learning, receiving, hearing and noticing—all of which requires intentionality and practice! The next several months are a great time to practice! Why not consider making a commitment to being present in each of the four neighborhood spheres that we identify in Go Local?

HOME: What could you do to be more available when you’re home? For example, sit out front instead of back, leave your windows open and “stick your head” when you see a neighbor going by, put a garden out front so that when you’re attending to it, you can meet and greet your neighbors. Or how about hosting a happy hour on your lawn or driveway? 

BLOCK: How can you spend more time on your block? Go for a “saunter” and a chat when you’re taking the dog for a walk or putting the garbage out. Join in with the street basketball or hockey game. Initiate a pop-up party (come as you are, bring what you have) on a warm evening. 

GROUPS: What else is going on in your neighborhood? Join in! The book club. The walking, biking, or bird-watching group. The community clean-up committee, civics team, soccer team. Participate, help out coaching, volunteer—get involved! 

PLACES: Finally, hang out where your neighbors do—and take the risk of saying hello. Is it the local grocery store? Playground? Library? Coffee shop? Be present wherever your neighbors are present.

And don’t forget to pause and reflect after every practice and interaction: What just happened? What did I learn? How might the Spirit be at work in me and my neighbors— because God is!

Written by Karen Wilk, Resonate Global Mission's Go Local Catalyzer