These actions may sometimes seem too small to make a difference, but they are merely first steps. The hope is that by taking such first steps, we will grow in our relationship and concern for those who live near us, building a bridge across which the gospel can eventually travel. Engaging our world starts with our local influence, so we will start each month at the local level.
Though many of you are still suffering from severe winter weather, I'd like to think ahead to spring and address the issue of how much time we spend outside. Since the advent of air conditioning and television, Americans have spent less and less of their discretionary time outside in their neighborhoods. This and other factors have meant that many Americans, including many Christians, don't know their neighbors very well. In fact, according to Trulia Research, only 53% of Americans even know their neighbors' names!
So, whenever warmer weather hits your area, let's prioritize, to the extent possible, activities where the chance to see and converse with our neighbors may be greater. This could mean our kids playing in the front yard or prioritizing a certain gardening project. Everyone's living situation is different, but we can all plan to be where our neighbors will be too.