#13: Host

Love Your Neighbor Challenge

When women weren’t lining up at my door to be my friend, I realized I was going to have to go to theirs. After a lot of internal debate and downright disobedience, I finally invited 89 neighbors over for coffee.

Yep. 89.

Please hear me: You don’t have to do that! You can invite one single person over for a cookie. The point is quality, not quantity. I host an Open House once or twice a year, usually in fall and winter, and I enjoy the efficiency of meeting many neighbors at once. I serve coffee and store-bought cookies on paper plates—nothing fancy. Other times, I invite one neighbor over for a glass of iced tea on the deck.

How do we go from wishful thinking about loving our neighbor to actually having women sipping coffee around our kitchen tables? We need Martha Stewart to team up with Billy Graham to write Loving Your Neighbor for Dummies!
How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird, page 60

Today’s Love Your Neighbor Challenge encourages you to host women in your home. From intimate gatherings to larger parties, these tips will help you be a successful hostess:

How to invite?

I don’t ask for an RSVP. I want my neighbors to feel like they can stop in even if they haven’t called me—and, besides, I’ve found that people just don’t do it.

Who to invite?

Use your map to determine who you will invite. While a personal invitation is most powerful, you can also post information on your neighborhood Facebook or NextDoor group, or on Meetup.

How many?

Of the 89 neighbors to my first Open House, 18 came. Typically, about one in five of your neighbors will respond to your invitation. Cast a wide net if you want a full house!

When to host?

Pay attention to the traffic patterns in your neighborhood. When are people home? Unfortunately, there’s no perfect time—so just choose the time that works best for you.

How long?

60-90 minutes is enough to get to know one another; much longer than that puts a strain on everyone’s calendar.

Free Invitations

This is the exact invitation I’ve used in my neighborhood for years! These time-tested and carefully chosen words are welcoming and effective, with space to fill in your name, phone number, address, the date and time of your Open House. There’s also a simple invitation you can use for any event, any time.

A personal invitation delivered face-to-face is the most time-consuming yet most effective way to invite your neighbors into your life—you can stuff mailboxes, but the result won’t be the same. Don’t depend on depersonalized mass communication or electronic media to deliver a personal message.
How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird, page 68

Now, you’re ready to follow Jesus’ advice: “Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find” (Matthew 22:9). Let us know how it goes, ok? And feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or great ideas!

Follow the Love Your Neighbor Challenge on Facebook or Instagram! 

If these tips and tools have given you a new idea, if you’ve met a new neighbor or thought about your neighbors in a different way, would you please let me know?

Contact me or message me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear your stories!

#1: Pray

#1: Pray

Of course, the first Love Your Neighbor Challenge begins with prayer - in fact, we couldn't call...

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