USING YOUR GIFTS TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS
This summer, all of us at EBIC are invited and encouraged to look for ways to meet needs, deepen relationships, and show love to our neighbors! To get you started, a RESOURCE KIOSK in EBIC’s lobby will be available Sundays, JUN 20–JUL 25, for you to pick up items to inspire ideas and assist in your event planning, such as gift cards, Surprise the World book, notecards, other goodies??
Ready to get started?
Here are some ideas! Remember, these are just suggestions! Feel free to use your own creativity and ideas!
1. Brainstorm a list of people you rub shoulders with, whether in your neighborhood, across town, your co-workers, fellow “soccer moms”/“band parents.” Ask God who he might be calling you to bless.
2. Consider the particular gifts, skills, and resources God has given you. See list below and feel free to add another. Ask God how he might want to match your gifts with a person to bless.
Host some kind of event in your backyard | IDEAS:
- Tea/dessert night
- Movie night
- Lawn games, Olympic theme
- BBQ "cook-off" fun
- Pool party (for those with pools obviously, or invite everyone over to your neighbors’ pool!)
- Pet night—or maybe not “pet-centered,” but “pets welcomed”
- Kids-centered event—carnival, piñata, or at least think through how kid-friendly your event will be
Show love in other kinds of ways
- Mowing grass
- Hiking/biking or other activity together
- Writing notes
- Focused prayer
- Meals delivered or together
- Free babysitting
- Share talents/gifting with people in need
3. Pick a date to hold your event or complete your service activity by summer’s end.
4. Follow up | Loving our neighbor is not a “once and done” thing. Continue to build relationships and bless others by following up with a personal note, or even an invite to church where appropriate.
Getting conversation started at parties doesn’t have to be hard! Think ahead of time about some stories you would like to share or some questions to ask your guests! As a general rule, people find it easy to talk about themselves and their interests. Once you get the ball rolling, follow up questions are great!
- How long have you lived in this neighborhood?
- Is there a story behind your name? Does it have a special meaning?
- If you could only use three words to describe yourself, what would they be?
- Do you have a bucket list? What is on it?
A Penny for Your Thoughts
- Give each participant a penny.
- After initial introductions (name, etc) each person should share something that happened in their life on the year their penny was minted.
- Provide a bowl of Skittles or M&Ms.
- Go around the circle and have each person choose a piece of candy and share a story or memory that corresponds to that color candy:
- BLUE | a vacation story
- GREEN | a pet story
- ORANGE | a story including your hobby
- RED | a story including your job
- YELLOW | a story or memory that makes you laugh or smile
- PURPLE | a favorite memory or story of your choice.
Playing a game or doing an activity...
...often helps everyone to feel more comfortable, as there is something else to focus on besides the conversation or lack thereof. Some great group games include: Scattergories, croquet, Ticket to Ride, Pictionary, etc.