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Lighthouse Neighborhood Ideas

As a Lighthouse you've committed to praying for, caring for and sharing Jesus Christ with those around you who don't know Him personally. As you pray, you are also seeking ways to care, allowing God to use you to plant the seeds of His love in your neighbor's hearts.

We've put together some simple ideas on how to begin caring for your neighbors. Some of these ideas take a little planning while others are a matter of becoming aware of opportunities to show you care:

  • Meet new (just moved in) neighbors with a plate of cookies, awarm welcome and a 3X5 card with your name, address andphone number. Suggest they call you with any questions aboutthe neighborhood such as garbage collection, post office, etc.
  • Put together a neighborhood directory of names, addresses and phone numbers. This helps you pray more specifically for your neighbors and assists everyone in getting to know each Other.Take dinner to new parents. Use disposable containers so the clean up is quick and easy.
  • Plan a neighborhood baby shower for the new baby. Invite several neighbors to assist you.
  • Baby-sit for your neighbors. In many cases, families don't have grandparents or relatives in the area who might be able to help out. Many young parents rarely have extra time or money to go on a "date." Make sure they — and you — are comfortable with the arrangements and that you know how to contact them should an emergency arise. Can you organize a baby-sitting co-op?
  • Call on housebound neighbors. They might enjoy a personal visit or may just want to talk with you on the telephone. If you do visit, take a little something such as a desert, fruit or a book.
  • If you have children or grandchildren, consider taking them with you when you visit. What joy for an older person to just see andwatch the children play! Or if the children visit you, let the neighbor know they're welcome to come over and "play "
  • Do your neighbors love to read' Consider buying an extra copy of a good Christian novel and sharing it with them. Or. as you finish the books you're reading. start a "lending library' to your neighbors. It's best to do this with the thought that the books might not be returned.
  • Take a neighbor who has difficulty driving to his/her favorite store, dry cleaner. or the post office with you, when you're going that way. Then, "'splurge" and go to a fast food restaurant for a meal or an ice cream cone as a special treat.
  • Take a spaghetti dinner to someone recuperating from surgery. Include a simple garden bouquet and a get-well card.
  • Plan 'spur of the moment" or next day coffee/tea or lemonade times and invite two to four neighbors to get better acquainted. One lighthouse says neighbors often are shy about having people in but do want to get to know one another She keeps her gatherings very simple so they feel they could do it too.
  • Pick up newspapers, mail etc. for neighbors who go on vacation.If you're asked to watch their house, always ask for emergencynumbers so you'll know what to do if something goes wrong.
  • Does it get windy in your area? When the wind blows, take the time to pick up trash off neighbors lawns and garbage cans that have blown all over. They'll learn who rescues their garbage cans and recyclable containers. You may get a reputation for being the helpful neighbor!
  • Do you have extra indoor or outdoor plants? Offer clippings to neighbors.
  • Neighbors having problems with their sprinkler systems? Put a note on the door of the neighbors who are at work and make them aware that their sprinkles had a problem while they were gone One lighthouse made a diagram so the neighbors knew the exact sprinkler with the problem.
  • When you're baking, consider preparing a few extra cupcakes. cookies. pies, etc. Save them to give to a neighbor the Lord may lay on your heart.
  • A friendly wave and "Hi" to someone who drives or walks by helps them see Jesus' warmth and love in you.
  • Do you live in a neighborhood with an Association? Consider regularly attending the meeting and being involved in what you can, including pancake breakfasts or potlucks. This gives you an opportunity to meet your neighbors in a very informal setting.
  • Learn people's names. as well as the names of their children and pets Don't be, snoopy, hut try to notice a new car or a new hairstyle, etc. People love to be given an honest compliment, even about the new tree they planted in their front yard.
  • Change your walking or exercising schedule if needed. to walk with a neighbor. As you're walking, listen to them. It's probably one of the greatest ways to serve a neighbor or friend.
  • Begin a Neighborhood Bible Study. Invite the neighbors who are most interested over for dinner as an introduction.
  • Invite one hurting neighbor out for pizza. Maybe this is someone whose spouse has left.
  • Invite two couples in for a simple pizza carry out dinner in yourhome. Nothing fancy — just a time of getting to know them.
  • Share clothing that your children or grandchildren have outgrown with other children that may be needy in the neighborhood. Give away toys that they've outgrown. Make sure the items are clean and in Good repair before giving them away.
  • Are you taking items to the Salvation Army or another donation center? As you get ready to load up your vehicle, ask your neighbors if they have anything they want to donate. That helps the donation center too!
  • Give the gift of a hand written note to a neighbor or friend. Letthem know you're thinking about them and praying for them.
  • Host a neighborhood BBQ or block party along with one or two other families in the area. Choose a special holiday or theme for the party.
  • Be the coordinator for a neighborhood gathering in connection with crime prevention and fire safety.
  • Help bring together a playgroup for young children and their moms.When a neighbor stops by invite them in. This will usually be when the house is not very clean or when you have company-however, this openness will make you a real friend!
  • Mow the lawn of a neighbor who is traveling or is ill.
  • Rake their yard. Get your children into the act!
  • Plow or shovel a neighbor's driveway or walkway when it snows.
  • Spend a Saturday morning helping someone in need with their "to do" list of chores around their home.
  • As students return to school in the fall, purchase a small gift such as a folder with an inspirational saying, to let them know you're praying for them as the new year begins.
  • Plan a holiday drop-in at your home. It's a wonderful opportunity to visit with your neighbors and to let them visit with one another.
  • You and your children can offer a free car wash, or a lemonade stand. If someone offers to donate money, give it to the local homeless shelter, food shelf or church.
*Click here for a two-sided booklet for study group handouts.

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