Five Ways to Neighbor at Easter
Easter is a holiday that is celebrated across the globe.
Christians and even non-Christians participate in Easter traditions. Some traditions can easily mask the real meaning of Easter, but they can also open a door for spiritual conversations. We desire for everyone to know and believe these words that Jesus said to [Martha], I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die found in John 11:25-26. Many churches will host egg hunts and Sunrise services to celebrate Easter and invite their communities. These events are great, but most churches ask themselves, what can we do to make an impact beyond this holiday? One thing we can do is lead our churches to Neighbor this Easter. Neighboring is the act of praying, caring, and sharing hope with those where you live, work, and play.
Here are five ways to neighbor at Easter:
- Pray for opportunities. Ask God to give you opportunities to talk to your neighbors. All it takes is just a moment to make an impact. Ask the Lord to be at work in your conversations. Ask Him to go before you every time you plan, prepare, and go. He hears you and will answer.
- Have an intentional conversation not a passing hello. We are all guilty of waving hello as we pass people in the grocery store, drive by our neighbors in their yards, or even in the halls of the church. We say a quick “Hello! How are you doing?” as we continue walking on by. If we have a holy interest for those in our path, then we will want to do more. We need to truly see people, stop, and have a conversation even if we only have a few minutes. Learn their names, know their interests, feel their grief, and celebrate their wins.
- Look for point words to go deeper in conversation. How do we transition conversations from the Easter bunny to eternal life? A deep conversation doesn’t just happen but is guided. For example, If a neighbor jokingly says that they have been feeling some anxiety lately, ask what is making them feel anxious. Look for words that point to a follow-up question. If they share something vulnerable about their life, be sure to reciprocate by sharing about a time you felt anxious and were helped through Scripture, prayer, or godly counsel. It is an opportunity to share what God has done in your life.
- Use your space with a Kingdom plan. God has given us spaces that we can use for ministry. These spaces are our homes, cars, businesses, etc. If we view our spaces as God’s and not our own, then that changes our perspective. People often think that the church building is the only place where ministry can be done; that is not the case. I encourage you to create a plan to use your space for ministry. For example, are there some internationals that live in your neighborhood? Did you know that many internationals never get invited into American homes? You could use your space to have them over to teach them how American Christians celebrate Easter. That could be the beginning of building a relationship with these neighbors who might be lonely and looking for a friend.
- Make space in your schedule. We live busy lives, and it is easy to look at our schedules and see very little to no margin to Neighbor. We need to make space. It may mean coming home from work to put on your sneakers and walk with a neighbor. It may mean volunteering on the HOA in your neighborhood to purposefully build relationships. It could even be something as simple as taking a baby gift to your neighbor across the street. Making time for others communicates that you care.
We will make a huge impact in our communities if we practice loving those around us. Make it your goal to engage in intentional conversations with at least one person this Easter season. That one conversation could lead to eternal life in Christ!