For The Valley

Neighboring

Our mission at Shepherd of the Valley is to connect all people to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through worship, groups, and serving.

2025 Vision: Shepherd of the Valley will leverage our strength in personal relationships to endear our community so that the community knows we’re here and is better off because we’re here.

By learning to love our physical neighbors, we are building relational “connective tissue” in our neighborhoods. Neighboring is a journey, not a project. Join us in the journey!

Practical Resources to Help You Love Your Neighbors

Your Neighborhood

Block Map

The point of the Block Map Exercise is to move the Great Commandment from a theory into a real-world context. Imagine the middle box is your house, and the other boxes are the eight neighbors/families nearest to you – eight households God has placed closest to where you live.

Use the Block Map to do the exercise below. The goal is to keep taking steps over time and fill in more details as you get to know those around you better.

  1. Write your name in the middle box
  2. Write the names of your closest neighbors (first and last names, if possible) in the eight other boxes. Leave blank if you don’t know.
  3. As space permits, and as you are able, add information you’ve learned about each person from speaking to them (not just observations) – such as grew up in Idaho, is a teacher, plays pickleball, was born in Germany.
  4. Add in-depth information you know from interacting meaningfully with them – such as their challenges, what they fear, believe spiritually, aspire to, or hope for.
Use this neighboring prayer

Heavenly Father, we ask for your presence in families and marriages in our neighborhood. We ask for loving, strong bonds between children, teenagers, adults, and grandparents, that each would demonstrate love for one another. We also pray, Lord, that you would…

  1. Heal the emotional wounds of people living in my community, that relationships between neighbors would be made right. 
  2. Remove any racial or social barriers that exist between neighbors.
  3. Ease poverty in the community and grant economic growth to meet the financial needs of families.
  4. Deliver the community from addiction. 
  5. Drive out evil influence and activity in the community. 
  6. Strengthen families in the neighborhood and bless each home.
  7. Transform the homes in this community so that they will be Christ-centered.

We ask for a flourishing community, where neighbors learn to love each other. We pray that we will be good stewards of your love to each one of our neighbors. We ask that you help us to learn from our community, and it may be a place that is welcoming and kind. Thank you, Lord, for placing me in this community, for what you are doing to bring about your kingdom here. I pray that my neighbors in this community will come to know you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How to Love Your Neighbor

Keep it simple and small. One courageous step after another, with no hidden agenda, is the goal.

  • Learn your neighbors’ names (and use them).
  • Wave and smile (makes future meetings less awkward).
  • Initiate brief (one minute) conversations with neighbors when you see them outside.
  • Be curious. Ask questions with interest and listen to their answers.
  • Hang out in the FRONT yard.
  • Invite a neighbor on a walk, to a meal, or event.
  • Share info about a community organization. Invite a neighbor to help with you.
  • Pray for the desire and opportunity to be a good neighbor.
  • Bring a neighbor a coffee, meal, flowers, or treat just because and when times are hard.
  • Get to know your neighbors’ pets.
  • Offer to let the dog out or walk the dog if the neighbor is running late.
  • Compliment a neighbor on their yard (or something else).
  • Don’t gossip, be nosey, be smothering, pushy with your faith.
  • Find commonalities.
  • Learn their story.
  • Think of 2–3 questions ahead of time to ask your neighbor when you see them.
  • Take a plate of goodies to a neighbor with a note to pay it forward.
  • Split flowers or plants and offer them to neighbors.
  • Host a free lemonade stand.
  • If you are running an errand, offer to pick something up at the store (especially helpful for new parents or elderly).
  • Pray for your neighbors (by name) as you walk through your neighborhood. Then, invite a neighbor to prayer walk with you.
  • Reach out to new neighbors. Bring a welcome treat or basket and include your name and contact info.
  • Introduce new neighbors to others.
  • Pet sit when your neighbor is out of town.
  • Babysit for a neighbor.
  • Be a good patron of your neighborhood establishments.
  • When a neighbor will be gone offer to help with mail, pets, plants, snow, lawncare, or garbage.
  • Ask for help from a neighbor when you need it.
  • Help your neighbor with a yard project.
  • Give a neighbor your number and take their info (I’m going out of town. Here’s my number so you can let me know if anything is needed.).

Plan or host with another neighbor: 

  • Easter egg hunt
  • Game night
  • Bonfire
  • BBQ
  • Happy hour
  • Ice-Cream social
  • Card night
  • Progressive or neighborhood block party
  • Neighborhood garage sale
  • Create a neighborhood directory
  • Coordinate clothing or food collection for Valley Outreach, Hudson Backpack or other nonprofit
  • Plan a day to pick up trash in your neighborhood (It’s not my trash, but it’s my neighborhood!)
  • Be a peacemaker
  • Volunteer in a local school
  • Start a small group with some of your neighbors
  • Do something for a senior residence or nursing home
Discussion Questions

February 26 Neighbor Isn’t Just a Metaphor
March 5 The Distance Between Us
March 12 Motives
March 19 Sacred Listening
March 26 The Art of Receiving
April 2 Tending & Mending

Listen to messages and access discussion questions HERE

Resources

To encourage your neighboring efforts, we’ve created these templates for you to use! Simply open the directory or invitation you want to use and select Make a Copy from the File menu. Don’t have a Google Account? Simply select Download from the File menu to download the file in your preferred format.

Neighborhood Directory
Movie Night Invitation
Spring Event Invitation

Fall Festival Invitation
BBQ Invitation
Christmas Party Invitation

31 Ways to Build Community in Your Neighborhood

Share Your Stories

It can be a challenge any time we step out of our comfort zone. Would you share with us how neighboring has gone for you?

Have you met new people and noticed changes in the kind of neighbor you are? What’s been challenging or exciting? What happened that might be encouraging to someone else? No step is too small!

Enter a gift card drawing by sharing a neighboring story at sov.church/stories

Need Help?

Here are some of our favorite links. Don’t see what you are looking for? Submit a note in the box below & we’ll be in touch the next business day.

2024 Pledge

In 2024, I intend to give