An exercise to begin with…
This is an opportunity to take stock of our relationships with our neighbours, and it may very well be a painful exercise. Below is a link to a house map, please make sure everyone in your community group has a copy. The middle house on the chart is yours. It doesn’t matter if your road or area resembles this map; imagine that the boxes around your house represent the houses that are closest to you in distance.
Then in the middle of the chart, simply write your home address or house name or number. In the other boxes, fill in the three subpoints within each box – a,b, and c – as follows;
a) Write the names of the people who live in the house represented by the box. If you can give the first and last names, that’s great. If it’s only first names, that’s fine too.
b) Write down some relevant information about each person, some data or facts about him or her that you couldn’t see just by standing in your drive, things you might know if you’ve spoken to the person once or twice. Things that you can observe from your windows don’t count, like colours of cars, or flowers outside their house. We mean information you learn from speaking to your neighbour, such as where he or she grew up, what his or her hobbies are, and son.
c) Write down some in-depth information you would know after connecting with people. This might include their career plans or dreams of starting a family or anything to do with the purpose of their lives. What motivates them to do what they do? What would they say about God? What do they most fear? What are their spiritual beliefs and practices? Write down anything meaningful you’ve learned through interacting with them.
1. How much of your map were you able to fill out? Did you have any thoughts or realisations as you did this exercise?
2. Describe the relationships that you currently have with your neighbours. Do you have any neighbours that you would like to get to know better?
1. Keep your house map and place it somewhere appropriate in your home where you will often see it. Use it as an aid to help you to pray for your area.
2. Try and learn the name of at least one of your unknown neighbours this week, and fill in one of the squares on the map.
Can I encourage you to finish your meeting by praying for one another as this series starts.