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Featured, Leadership, Trending | Jun. 20, 2017

Your guide to neighboring well this July 4th

d2design church marketing 4th of july neighboring well

The 4th of July is coming up fast! Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays for two main reasons: fireworks and watermelon. When I think about celebrating the 4th, those two things come to mind. In some form or fashion, I celebrate every year by partaking in both.

My guess is that your celebration is similar… and so is your neighbors. In fact, who doesn’t celebrate the 4th this way? So here’s the thing, why not use this cultural phenomenon to meet neighbors? Since fireworks and watermelon are such established staples of celebrating our nation’s independence, they provide a natural avenue through which you can invite neighbors over and celebrate together.

Host a watermelon feast for your street

Get your small group from church to pitch in and buy several watermelons. Then, invite your neighbors over on the 4th and feast together. Make it fun! Turn the sprinklers on or hook up a slip ‘n slide in the front yard and let the kids play (and by kids, I mean children and dads).

You can expand this idea by lighting up the grill. Buy some hot dogs and buns and tell your neighbors to c’mon! Or tell them it’s a BYOM (bring your own meat) party. You provide the sides and drinks, they bring their own cut of meat.

Organize a community fireworks show

A few days before the 4th, reach out to folks in your neighborhood and find out who’s going to be around. For those who’ll be close by, invite them to collaborate on a neighborhood fireworks show. If everyone pitches in a few dollars, you can get a pretty killer supply of fireworks. Then find a good cul-de-sac from which to launch them (be sure to check with those who live there before you invade their driveways), and invite everyone to gather. Consider having fun drinks (or watermelon!) for everyone who shows up. And definitely have some good music playing during the show!*

These are just two ideas. There are plenty of other ways that you could celebrate the 4th and meet neighbors. The point is, holidays like the 4th provide great avenues through which you can connect with the folks on your block. Since you’re already going to celebrate, why not invite neighbors over and make the party bigger? Why not leverage watermelon and fireworks for a missional purpose? These are easy ways to build relationships in hopes of sharing the good news of Jesus with the people God has placed around you.

We would love to hear how you’re going to celebrate Independence Day, and especially how you’re going to use the holiday to meet neighbors and live on mission. Drop a comment and tell us how you plan to spend the 4th of July. Give us your ideas for connecting with neighbors.

*Be sure to check city and county regulations on fireworks, and always remember, Safety First!

Andy Adkison, Founding pastor and pastor of preaching and vision, Immanuel Church Birmingham
Andy Adkison Founding pastor and pastor of preaching and vision, Immanuel Church Birmingham