How to Safely, Thoughtfully Reach Out to Neighbors Amid COVID-19

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Kendra Semmen

Pastors Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, authors of The Art of Neighboring, say connecting with our neighbors is crucial so we can follow God’s commands and remember to pray for and help them.

“Once you start connecting—you know someone’s name, you start a simple conversation—it gets the ball rolling,” Pathak says. “Once the ball is rolling, your heart connects with them. It starts to affect your prayer life; you start to think about them as you’re doing your day-to-day activities. If you have a little extra when you bake desserts, you think, Maybe we should drop this off to our neighbors. But when you don’t know their names, when you’ve not made any connection, it’s sort of like ‘out of sight, out of mind.'”

Runyon says it’s possible to connect even from 6 feet apart. He spoke with an infectious disease expert in his area in Colorado to get some advice.

“There’s a lot of churches, when all of this started to happen, that said, ‘What can we do? How do we help believers respond in this moment?'” Runyon says. “[An infectious disease expert] pointed me back to the Bible. She said, ‘What we need in this moment isn’t for churches to start a bunch of new programs. What we need is for the people who go to those churches to engage their neighbors, and to do it in very careful, thoughtful and safe ways.’ … Who are some of the older people in your neighborhood? Ask if they need anything.”

To garner more wisdom on how to safely reach your neighbors, click here for the entire video.

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