As we mamas were meeting together regularly, we were telling stories about our families, and about our husbands, and we were wondering what would it take for the daddies to reach out to one another. After some weeks of wondering about this, we decided to put together family events, so that the Daddies could meet one another, in the safety and context of their own families.
We assumed that none of the Daddies would be so bold as to just gather a bunch of strange dudes around the neighborhood for conversation and friendship, so we decided to host potlucks and BBQs. And after several of these events (about 4) the guys began to hang out after those gatherings. We would be together as families, then go home and put the kids down to bed, and the daddies would convene for some late-night card-playing or just hang out with each other. They began to enjoy one another and friendships started to take off. That led to deep family friendships, deep friendships among those men, lots of help for home projects, vacations together, and community for all of us.
I didn’t have to do it all. I just provided a “spark”, and the people in our neighborhood took it and ran with it. Now multiple families take turns hosting events, like a Halloween party, Christmas caroling and cookie exchange, Cinco de Mayo taco party, and a huge old fashioned 4th of July block party. We also come together as needed for cooking or helping when someone has a baby or is sick.
Neighboring ministry is more like a crock-pot than a microwave. It cooks slowly, but over time, becomes more and more flavorful. Many significant life experiences and spiritual conversations were to come, but it all started with sharing life together and building community in our neighborhood.