3 Tools for Neighboring Post-Quarantine

Have you noticed that your neighbors are friendlier? Maybe you’ve recognized a new openness with people at the grocery store and friends who would never usually walk into a church building. Some may have even watched our live worship service.

The strangeness of post-quarantine life has given us a window of opportunity to connect on a deeper level with unbelieving people in our lives. Quarantine, E-learning, working from home, political unrest and social injustice have opened doors to conversations like never before. But are we ready?

Beyond Banana Bread

What does “loving our neighbor” look like today? What is our responsibility as Christ followers? Our heart for the lost people in our lives must expand past baking banana bread, spreading mulch, or resharing a clever Facebook post. We should be motivated to have gospel-centered conversations because we long for people to have the peace and reconciliation that only a relationship with Jesus can provide (2 Cor. 5:18-20). The most important way to love others is to share the hope of the gospel with them. This was the example of Jesus and his instruction for our lives.

So how can we shift our conversations and efforts? Our aim should be to connect and meet the needs of our neighbors with a heart that is prepared. Here are three tools that will help our efforts in neighboring during this post-quarantine season:

1. Time

Maybe your excuse has been, “I just don’t have the time” (I know I’ve used that one before). Well, quarantine has taken that excuse away for many of us. Now we do have the time, and so do our neighbors. So how will we use it to connect with people?

As a family, we are working to maintain the margin that has been gifted to us because of quarantine. We are praying through our pace and commitments and talking about how we can leave room for gospel conversations in our neighborhoods and community relationships. Have you considered making more time for the lost?

2. Community

Campus outreach specialist G’Joe Joseph writes,

“In a culture that’s increasingly isolated and disconnected, communal evangelism has unprecedented potential to draw in the individual. Partnerships, not personality, produce effectiveness in the long run.”

How are you partnering with other believers to help reach the lost? Have you considered all the resources at your fingertips? Now is the perfect time to connect your neighbors with our virtual community and resources.

3. Prayer

Through prayer, God readies our minds and hearts for action. He empowers us through the Spirit to obey and take those necessary steps, to move toward gospel conversations. Are you asking God to give you opportunities and boldness? We’re not alone, but we must access the preparation needed through prayer.

Heading Back to Neighboring

Social distancing, stay-at-home orders and quarantine are being phased out; and businesses, restaurants, churches, and neighborhoods are opening back up. Although there is still much uncertainty, it seems that people are beginning to engage with each other again. As this happens, we as Christians, should not neglect the opportunities we have to share the hope we have.

As you head back to work, go back to your barber, or simply have more meaningful conversations with your neighbors, I challenge you to join us with the call of Christ and love your neighbor with the gospel.

Ashley Wittmer

Ashley Wittmer

College Park Member

Ashley has been a member of College Park since 2012. She leads a Small Group with her husband Joe and has 2 children: Hutch (10) and Reese (8). She’s a coffee-loving, dog-snuggling storyteller. She loves deep conversations, belly laughs and home reno projects.