Week 2 - The Art of Neighboring

Discuss last week’s Practice (15-20 minutes)
(If you’re short on time, skip this and go to the next section)
If you are in a LifeGroup of seven or more, divide into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender). 

Spend a few minutes catching up on life… 
Then talk through the following debrief questions:

  1. Did you get a chance to have a meal with somebody who doesn’t follow Jesus? How did it go?

  2. What was/is the most difficult part of this Practice for you?

Transition back to one large group (15-20 minutes) 

Have a conversation around the following questions:

  1. Any stories from the last week’s Practice that you would like to encourage the whole group with?

  2. Did you listen to this week’s sermon on neighboring? What did you think?

  3. Do you view your home as an outpost of the kingdom? Or more of a castle to hide away in?

  4. How well do you know your neighbors?

  5. What’s the spiritual climate of your neighborhood? What are the challenges you face there as an apprentice of Jesus?

Read Luke 10:25-37

  1. How does Jesus use the story of the Samaritan to answer the questions who is my neighbor?

  2. What keeps us from being a loving neighbor?

  3. What is our motive for loving our neighbor?

  4. Read v38. How does this connect with Jesus teaching on hospitality and loving your neighbor?

Talk about the coming week’s Practice as a Community (10–30 minutes)
Here’s the Practice for the coming week:

Exercise #1: Block Map

The following is an exercise from artofneighboring.com

neighboring-community-houston heights-church

  • The center square is your home or apartment. The eight squares around it are your eight closest neighbors. Do the following for each neighbor:

    • On line A, fill in their name. Ideally first and last, but just put down what you know. If you don’t know their name yet, just put down question mark, or leave it blank. Do the same for the next two lines.

    • On line B, fill in any factoids you know that you couldn’t get from waving across the street: where they work, where they are from, how long they’ve lived there, what they do for fun, etc.

    • On line C, see if you can fill in any in-depth information: their dreams for the future, relationship status, their faith (or lack of it), experience with God or church, their childhood story, any pain, etc.

  • As a general rule, only 10% of people can fill in line A, only 3% can fill in line B, and less than 1% can fill inline C. The point here isn’t guilt and shame; it’s simply to plot out just how well you know (or don’t know) your neighbors, to get you started on the journey to loving them.

  • If you want some more ideas/help you can check out artofneighboring.com for more info or resources such as their block party kit, which is a great primer on how to throw your first block party.

 Exercise #2: Brainstorming Session

  • Brainstorm a list of creative ideas for neighboring (i.e., how to love your neighbors well by creating an environment of hospitality).

  • Feel free to do this yourself via listening prayer or over food or drinks with your family, friends, or a few close neighbors, and the music cranked up to 11.

  • Refer back to Sunday’s sermon for help to get you started

  • Once you have your list, pick out a few ideas and implement them in the coming weeks and/or months. Be intentional. Put it into your calendar!

  • As you practice hospitality, remember why we eat and drink with our neighbors, to“welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you.” (Romans 15:7)

  • And don’t forget to have fun as you go out and love your neighbors!

Work through these discussion questions (10-15 minutes) 

  1. Any thoughts, creative ideas, or feedback on this coming week’s Practice?

  2. How do you feel about viewing your neighborhood as one of your primary callings from Jesus to love well?

Close in prayer (10 minutes)