"One of the worthiest endeavors we can undertake is to take the Great Commandment seriously and learn to be in relationship with our literal neighbors." -The Art of Neighboring
Imagine this. You get home after a long day and you're tired. You want to rest, be refreshed, and enjoy a relaxing night. A place outside just for you with a good drink would be lovely. But you live in an apartment. And you don't even have a yard.
Enter your complex's common area. (Live in a house? Your front yard is perfect for engaging your neighbors.) Most apartment complexes and even some planned communities share common areas. And in a lot of scenarios they are grossly underutilized. The truth is that our society has led to people leading very insular lives and not knowing how to have real life relationships.
Common space is a great answer to meeting your neighbors and engaging with them. Here are some simple tips to using your common area well:
- Enter the space with intentionality. Pray God would give you opportunities to meet your neighbors and be willing to take advantage of the opportunities that arise.
- Spend time there regularly and often. Your neighbors will get used to seeing you in the common space. As this happens they will find your presence welcoming and they'll know where to find you easily if a need arises.
- Consider improvements to the common area. Over the past few months, with the help of our neighbors, our common area has gained seating, an herb garden, and decorative plants. Plans are even in the works for a barbeque/picnic space.
- Host events in the common area. You could start as early as this Saturday. Brew some coffee, grab some doughnuts, and invite your neighbors to begin their weekend together. (More on community events coming soon.)
This post is part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series.