It is estimated that parents have 3000 hours of intentional time with their kids each year. The Kids Team knows that those hours are vital in the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of your kids. In 2019, we want to encourage and challenge you to find rhythms in your home that are engaging, creative, fun and allow for natural conversations about faith and Jesus. Every month a staff member from the Kids Ministry Team will share an idea from their family rhythm that will guide you in making those 3000 hours a year a little more intentional. Join us each month by sharing how you incorporated the month’s challenge in your home. Post your family experiences to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge for chances to win prizes and encourage other families to join the challenge!

What if Jesus meant that we should love our actual neighbors?

In Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) Jesus says,

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Do you know your neighbors by name? Many of us get stuck in the habit of pulling into the garage and closing the door behind us as we go into our homes. We are too busy to reach out to our neighbors to get to know them. We hang out in our backyards where it’s hard for our neighbors to get to know us. What if we did something more to get to know our neighbors?

We had lived in our home for a number of years and realized we really didn’t know our neighbors. We waved at them as we drove in and out of our garage, but didn’t KNOW them. We wanted to form some relationships and friendships so we decided to do something about it! We began hosting an annual block party! We made flyers, bought food, moved all our patio chairs, grill, kids toys, etc. to the front yard and hoped our neighbors would come. As the day came we were nervous we’d be the only ones outside, but one by one they showed up, side dish in hand! They wanted to know us as much as we desired to know them. We have made some lifelong friendships by getting to know our neighbors and everyone looks forward to summer for the annual block party!

Get outside and love your neighbors!! There are some simple things to do to begin to form a friendship with them.

  • Instead of playing out back, move the chairs, toys, grill to the front yard.
  • Bring them a plate of homemade cookies or brownies just because. Be sure to include a note with your names and phone number!
  • Have a fire pit in your driveway. Set up some extra chairs and if neighbors walk by, invite them to sit and relax with you. You could even make s’mores together! Have some sidewalk chalk out for the kids to draw while the adults sit and chat.
  • Host a block party to get to know your neighbors. This website has some great resources for hosting block parties and getting to know your neighbors.

Take a picture of your family outside with your neighbors and post it to social media and tag #mhfamilychallenge.