Part of my year of venturing is getting to know my neighbors. I had met our immediate next door neighbors (after I literally knocked on their door to say, “Hi! I’m your new neighbor!”) soon after we moved in. But I hadn’t met anyone else, and I wasn’t sure how to go about it other than to start knocking on doors again.
So, we decided to throw a party. Problem is — we decided this a year ago and still…no party. After going to a Mission Alive Fundraising Dinner, which is all about reaching your neighbor, I decided to just go for it and have the party that week. Careful planning be damned! I think the idea of the party (which I don’t really enjoy planning) had become so big in my mind that it became this overwhelming monster.
So we did minimal planning, minimal publicity (just flyers in mailboxes), and hoped for the best. We also invited members of our house church that live close by, and that gave me more peace of mind. If no one showed up, at least we could have a nice time with them.
So how did it go? It was great! 7 neighbors showed up for hot chocolate and conversation. Several of our neighbors mentioned how excited they were to get our invitation. I think this world is desperate for community, and most people don’t have a natural way of creating that. Our neighborhood block party was so successful that we have decided to do some kind of get-together every month, to really have a chance to build community.