Discussion Guide: The Art of Neighboring Week 3

Getting Started

What “Next Steps” did you take over the past week in attempting to connect with your neighbors? How did that go?

Take some time to pray for your neighborhoods/neighbors as we begin this series. Ask God to open doors and give you a heart and a desire to love your neighbors as you love yourself.

To begin the discussion, watch The Art of Neighboring video for week 3.

Discussion Questions

What was your big take away from this video? What did you like? What was difficult or confusing?

Judy Blume, Author

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”

How is our world today different from when you were a kid?

How does fear, or maybe just wrong assumptions, affect our ability to build relationships with people?

Is there anyone on your block that you are uncomfortable about the idea of spending time with? If so, why?

1 John 4:16-21

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

How does loving others help to overcome our presumptions and fears?

Leader Notes
Fear tends to cause us to reduce people to 2 dimensions. It causes us to see people as a caricature of who they actually are. We see them as always being this or always doing that and any good in them tends to be minimized. When we begin to love them, however, they begin to become 3 dimensional again. We begin to see them as a holistic person who may have struggles rather than some monster who lives down the street.

What’s the worse case scenario if you engaged your neighbors? Does knowing them increase or decrease the likelihood of your worst case scenario?

Who in your neighborhood do you think might be scared of you? How would you seeking to love them help to change that fear?

Is it possible that we may actually have neighbors that we should be cautious about? If so, how ought we approach those situations?

Ambrose Redmoon, Author

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

How does Jesus’ love for us give us the courage to judge that loving our neighbors is more important than fearing them?

Leader Notes

We all know how bad or monstrous we can be in our own hearts and the evil that is constantly knocking on our door, and yet in the midst of all of that Jesus has loved us and chosen us and that love has transformed our hearts. Having received such grace we have the opportunity and responsibility to model that love and extend that love to those God has placed around us regardless of how different or scary they may appear to be.

Moving Forward

At the conclusion of each gathering we will do 3 things. Often groups lose track of time and end up rushing through the second half of the content. We strongly believe that these 3 exercises are the most important part of this study. If you only have time to do one section each week…do this one!

Do the Block Map – Take out the block map and fill it in right now… just start with the names of your neighbors. Download Block Map here.

Leader Notes

Go around the room and share how many of the names you knew? Did you have any epiphanies as you did this exercise? What did you learn or feel as a result of doing this exercise? Most people naturally feel a little guilty when they realize how little they know about their neighbors. Allow people to feel what they feel, but this is definitely NOT the time to try to make people feel guilty or that they are not doing enough. Allow God to work on people in HIS timing. As a host you might feel like you should know more of your neighbors since you are a host. Avoid that temptation. We are all on this journey together and we all have room to grow. Let people see you are real and honest and that you don’t have it all figured out either. Your group will trust you more for your honesty! Write the names of your neighbors by listing out the names of the adults and children of the 8 closest houses or apartment units next to you. Pay attention to the blank spaces Take a second and identify each of the neighbors and decide if they are a stranger, acquaintance, or relationship.

Identify one neighbor that you are going to pray for during the next week. Take time to pray in the group for the neighbors that were mentioned.

Share one small “next step” that you feel God is calling you to take in the next 7 days.



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