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Easy & Fun Neighbor Connection

goodrich-cookoutThe 4th of July is coming! Summer is here! Take advantage of this unique time of year to get to know your neighbors by hosting a meal outside together.

Why?

My husband and I are not exactly “party animals,” but after hosting several of these front lawn BBQs and connecting with our neighbors over the years, we’ve seen huge benefits. The friendships with those who lived near us impacted us all. And we were also able to start a Q Place group with some of them. Here’s what a few of them said when we moved to another state:

  • Thank you for building our neighborhood into the wonderful community it is today.  J&J
  • Thank you for being a part of our lives: bringing neighbors closer, knocking on our doors and our hearts, sharing about your life. A&I
  • Thank you for welcoming us into the neighborhood when we moved in. The loaf of bread you baked for us and your invitation to Bible study showed me how much you cared not only for others, but to share God’s Word. The group you held will always be a part of my growing relationship with God. J&E
  • It’s because of the two of you that we all know our neighbors. G&V

Whatever name you use in your part of the country . . . Barbecue, Cookout, BBQ, Pork Roast, Pig Pickin’ . . . here’s a simple plan to spread out the work and enjoy a great time together!*

A week before

  • Enlist the support of a few key neighbors.
  • Take a flyer* to neighbors and introduce yourself to any who do not know you (or who might not remember your name).
  • Ask several neighbors close to you if they can provide grills and a table for this event. Card tables work!

Any time before

  • Buy drinks, paper goods, condiments, name tags (very important)!

The day of

  • Set up the grills, food tables, name tags, condiments & paper goods
  • Buy ice and put all drinks in a bucket with ice and water.
  • Set up outdoor games for kids.

During the cookout

  • Ask everyone to write their name in the center of their name tag, and in the four corners, write (1) the town where they were born, (2) their occupation, (3) a hobby, and (4) a childhood hero. Great conversation starters!
  • Ask each to introduce him or herself and say how long they’ve lived in the neighborhood. During dessert, ask everyone to respond to a simple, non-threatening question that each person can answer. (Let them know that they can "pass" if they are uncomfortable responding.)  Some good options:
    • What do you appreciate about living in this country? (Good for July 4th)
    • What is the most unusual (or first, or fun, or hard) job you've ever had? (Good for Labor Day)

Relax & Enjoy!

*Click here for a few more details and to see a sample flyer.

Fran Goodrich
Q Place Blog Editor/Denver Lead Catalyst