11 Ways to be a Missionary in your Neighborhood
Neighborhood Watch Program
Here are some ideas to make it into a ministry:
- Decide how many homes you want to include then make a form for people to fill out that includes:
- Names of everyone in the household (to be used as a prayer list for your family later)
- Street address
- Cell phone/ emergency contact
- Email address (optional if people are interested in getting together for community events) you can also use an app to connect with each other when you need to give things away, want to have a block party, want to update the neighborhood watch list, etc.
- Any specific skills or resources you are interested in helping others in the neighborhood with (mechanic, woodworking, baking, snow blower, air compressor, etc)
- Anything else you’d like people to know (deaf child, wheelchair, sleep during the day, etc).
- You can also set up a private Facebook group (ie. 1st Avenue Neighbors). You’ll still need to invite people to join it , so you’ll need to collect basic information, but it’s a quick contact.
- Take the form around door to door until you get all the information you need and have met each of your neighbors.
- Type up all the information and then email the information to everyone on the list (or print it out for people who don’t want to give you their email address).
- Start using this list to pray for each of the families in your neighborhood with your family.
Secret Servant (or Santa) activities for each of the homes in your neighborhood.
You can use the Neighborhood Watch list as a check off for your family. Ideas:
- Rake their lawn.
- Place a gift basket on their porch, knock on the door and run!!! (Movie Night baskets are always a hit!)
- Shovel the snow in their driveway.
- Special Secret Santa just before Christmas. Pray for God to guide you to whichever home needs a little something extra this Christmas. You can leave them a little gift on their door, ring the bell and run! This is wonderful for widows, single mamas and anyone else who could use some extra Christmas cheer!
Elves for the 12 Days of Christmas
- Make a plan in October or early November to do a 12 days of Christmas countdown for one of your neighbor families (best for families with little kids).
- Start collecting small items for each of the 12 days (The Dollar Store rocks for this). The gifts can be anything. Ideas:
- Start with a small tree then leave ornaments each day until the 12th day. You can go bigger to smaller (2 garlands… 12 bells).
- Different Christmas snacks are easy, especially when you get into the higher numbers.
- Fun toys or Christmas themed gifts.
- It’s fun to type a little note to leave each day.
- We tried to deliver the items just before bedtime each evening so nightfall hid us during our delivery.
- Try to leave it a mystery, but if you’re found out, just celebrate with your neighbors and keep going until the 12 days are done!
- Check with a few key neighbors you’ve been building a relationship with (or want to) about a couple possible dates and times for a Block Party.
- Contact the town to close off the road for your block party.
- Go in with a few neighbors and rent a food truck.
- Send out an invitation using your Neighborhood Watch List or FaceBook group. You can also make personal invitations and deliver them door to door for another point of contact!
- Plan to have a few games for everyone to play. Good ideas:
- Bubbles (for toddlers)
- Water balloons
- Life size Connect 4
- Giant Jenga
- Choose a Plan B date for inclement weather.
Neighborhood Clean Up
- Pick up trash in the neighborhood open space. Make sure to give each family member a garbage bag of their own. Providing plastic gloves are helpful, too.
- Clean up your neighborhood park.
- Help a single mom or widow. Here are some ideas:
- Shovel her sidewalk.
- Bring in her trash cans.
- Mow her yard (with permission).
- Bring her a meal.
- Get to know her and ask if there are any specific ways you can help her or her family.
Backyard Bible Club
- This is typically a Vacation Bible School like weekly program.
- Curriculum – There is free VBS curriculum online you could use. You could also use Sunday school curriculum or write your own. These programs usually include:
- Bible Story lesson
- Games or activities (craft or service project)
- Sometimes music time. We recommend Seeds Family Worship.
Christmas Cookie Exchange
- Talk to one or two other neighbors to join hosting and brainstorming forces then choose which home will host the event.
- Choose a date that works for each of the neighbors.
- You can even choose a specific website or cookbook to bake out of.
- Get invitations into the set number of neighbor’s hands. Send out a www.signupgenius.com invitation so you don’t duplicate cookie recipes.
- It doesn’t have to be a long event. You can structure it or let it be relaxed like an open house.
- Structure Options:
- Have the neighbors collect their cookies then have a short Christmas tradition sharing time.
- Collect cookies then watch a quick funny Christmas movie together and talk about funny stories from Christmases past.
- Do a devotional time after collecting cookies – you’ll want to let people know you’ll be doing this ahead of time. It’s also a good time to tell the Christmas Story and present the Gospel.
- Structure Options:
- What to Provide:
- Hot chocolate and tea
- Plates for everyone to use to collect their cookies.
- Plastic wrap or foil to cover the plates
- If you have invitations to a special church service, you could put them out near the cookies and people can take them if they’d like.
Leave neighbors an “I’m thinking of you” gift just because.
Here are a few ideas:
- Cookies on the first day it snows
- Easter Basket on the weekend of Easter
- May Day Flowers on May 1st
- A bag of their favorite candy with a note at the door.
New Baby/Illness Meal Train
- Learn about those in your neighborhood that may need meals prepared and delivered to them. The people who may need extra meals could be:
- Family with a new baby
- Single mom
- Elderly couple who is sick or just had surgery
- Family who has the flu
- Ways you can provide meals:
- Set up a www.signupgenius.com invitation for your neighbors to provide meals.
- Deliver an envelope with a note and a gift card for dinner.
- Leave Gatorade, crackers, and soup at the door for Flu Victims!
Back to School Water Balloon Fight
- Use your Neighborhood Watch System (FaceBook, email, text, etc.) to send out a date and time for the event. Plan this event to happen the week before school starts.
- Have each family participating purchase a set of balloons
- While the kids are playing, learn what schools the kids in the neighborhood are attending. When you get home, write a list of the schools and pray over them and the teachers and staff at their schools.
- End the event with popsicles or snow cones.
- This would be a good event to pitch an idea for another upcoming event (Fall Block Party or Neighborhood Clean Up).