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Afraid To Walk Across The Street

April 29, 2013

My friend Amy Lively, from The Neighborhood Café, is guest posting today! She’s tackling an issue that so many of us struggle with – breaking out of our comfort zones to reach people in our own backyards with the Gospel. I think you’ll really love the ideas she has. And don’t forget to enter her fun giveaway! Here’s Amy…

“I can do it! I can totally do it!” Someone had spoken life into one of my dreams, and for a few weeks I believed I could do it—I could actually start a neighborhood Bible study in my home. I would lure my neighbors over with coffee and cookies, then spring the Gospel on them—they’d never know what hit ‘em! I penciled the date for an Open House on my calendar, sketched out an invitation, and made lists of silly icebreakers.

This crazy idea rattled around in my heart… but by the time it bounced all the way up to my brain, I wasn’t so confident anymore. Could my little list of “things I’d like to teach about” turn into conversations with real women sitting around my kitchen table? What if no one came? What if everyone came? And then there was the mildly troublesome fact that I didn’t know my neighbors.

I don’t have time.
I’m not spiritual enough.
My house isn’t nice enough.
People don’t want to talk about religion.

My excuses were legit. I was busy working from home at our growing business while raising a family. I regularly fought with my husband, yelled at bad drivers (I love personalized license plates so I can call people out by name), and had never gotten around to memorizing the minor Old Testament prophets. My living room, with half-chewed rawhides poking out from behind the sofa cushions, is not Pinteresting. And, some people are a little uncomfortable bringing Jesus home from church.

There was nothing in the Bible telling me how to overcome my logical excuses and rational defenses. But there weren’t any escape clauses, either—and trust me, I looked! Not a single instance of “love your neighbor” was followed by “when your calendar is clear and your house is clean.”

“Please, God,” I begged, “Can’t I go to Africa instead? That would be easier than going across the street.”

Truth is, I was scared stiff—stiffly stuck in my comfort zone, stubbornly resisting God’s nudge out my front door.

My excuses were a thin disguise for my fears: fear of sacrifice, fear of humiliation, fear of being different, fear of rejection.

God never did magically eliminate my excuses, but He did ease my fears with sound scriptural promises about loving till it hurts (Ephesians 5:2), the difference between humiliation and humility (Proverbs 29:23), being weird (1 Peter 3:14-15), and pleasing God—not girlfriends (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

On the flip side of my fear, I found God’s faithfulness. He gave me Christ’s example to follow in my own neighborhood. He promised me honor when I submitted in humility. He offered a crown when others might offer criticism. He entrusted me with the Gospel not as a weapon, but as a way of life and love.

God’s faithfulness went with me as, knees knocking, I knocked on my neighbors’ doors. He led them back to my door, these women I never would have met had I not given into this scheme. We talked and laughed. Many became my friends as we continued to gather in my home every other week.

God broke my heart for my neighbors as I realized this was never about me—it had always been about them.

God’s faithfulness multiplied each hour I dedicated to getting ready; my productivity at work and home soared. No one asked me deep theological questions like, “Do pets go to heaven?” and some days they were a little irked at their families, too. They learned not to wear black pants around our yellow dog, and no one cared that Sara Lee made the snacks. And it turns out they needed Jesus in their homes just as much as I did.

Now when fear raises its ugly head, I remember how God proved His faithfulness as I obeyed His commands and believed His promises.

And this thing I dreaded—even as I was dreaming of it—became my deepest joy.

Would you like to turn your dread into joy by starting your very own neighborhood Bible study, but aren’t sure how?

Lively Post Pic

Today, I’m giving away three Neighborhood Café Kits that hold everything you’ll need to love your neighbors in a whole new way!

The kit includes a planning guide, open house invitations, leader’s guide, and more. To enter, leave a comment below telling me why you’d like to be a winner.

The first time I heard the words “neighborhood Bible study” was at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ She Speaks Conference. Each year as I’ve attended She Speaks and She Speaks Intensive, the Proverbs 31 team has stretched my personal faith and expanded my professional ministry. I have never seen so many beautiful women in one place encouraging one another without competing, generously imparting knowledge, equipping women to reach God’s daughters around the world. Read about it, pray about it—then GO TO IT! Click here for more information.

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  1. Emily Nudge

    I’d like to win a kit because it is an amazing idea and is something that is so important, what a great way to share, especially since we already share so much more living so close, we share the same street, the same weather, the same mail carrier, the same noises in the middle of the night, the same schools our kids attend, the same …. we have such similiarities. Someone just moved in a few weeks ago, starting this up will allow me to get myself across the street, literally!

  2. Patty S

    I recently moved in with my daughter and son in law here in Washington
    State. There are some friends and possibly neighbors who might be interested in attending a little get together here at the house. My daughter and her husband have seen and received blessings from the Lord. The Lord always provides where we can’t. I love your posts and when I read this one tonight, it came just the right time. Thanks and God Bless!

  3. Rena

    I feel that I should win this gift because its been pressing on my heart to reach out to my neighbors. I realize that the people are truly perishing because of a lack of knowledge. I’ve also concluded that God have given scriptures to help us as believers to help those that are truly walking around with no hope.

  4. Lymari

    I can completely relate to your same fears and concerns about trying to reach out to others about Jesus and how most people feel uncomfortable about bringing Jesus home from church. I do love to share Jesus with others, it’s my desire for others to find freedom in Christ as I have. I’ve taken small God-sized dreams in that direction by adding an encouraging Facebook page to my own, I have a half way started blog and bible study’s at my home twice a month. In prayer I opened my heart to The Lord and said for Him to do His will with this bible study. Right now it’s five of us but that my door is open for as many as he would like to bring.

    • Amy Lively

      That’s wonderful, Lymari! I always remind myself, “God can count!” He knows exactly who needs to be in your home. Some of the richest times I’ve had with my neighbors and friends have been in intimate gatherings where trust grows deep. I am praying for your neighborhood!

  5. Carol

    What an awesome kit! My church is a half hour from my town. I love this small, but growing church and what amazing things God is doing here. Last fall I started hosting a small group in my home. I can totally relate to the “had never gotten around to memorizing the minor Old Testament prophets” as feelings of inadequacy bloomed. Today our church announced we are going multi site and we are to be praying about expanding into my town! I’m so excited and can see where this type of kit could be an amazing tool to reach not only my neighbors but possibly grow our new church site!

  6. Brenda

    This is an amazing ministry. My neighborhood is growing in the wrong direction. We need Christ not only in my home, but the neighborhood. My home would be a good place to start. On my block there are 4 other ladies. I only know one of them. The other 3 rarely are seen. This would be a good way to get acquainted. I love this idea.

  7. Verla fletcher

    I have lived in my neighbor hood for almost 13 years surrounded by the same neighbors. Not one has been in my home. I need to change that. I would love one of these kits.

  8. Halona

    I love this kit idea. I have tried to do small groups or prayer groups but was never very successful. We recently moved & I have not met very many people but would love to share Jesus with my neighbors. What a wonderful blessing this is.

  9. Beth Barton

    My husband and I have been in ministry for 25 years and never have I done anything in my own backyard and I know it’s time. It’s past time. I work with high school and college age but fear my peers and I know it’s the step I need to take. Many cultures here and many who have never met Jesus. It’s sad I’ve never reached out. This kit could be the stepping stone past my anxiety of rejection.

  10. Michelle

    God has been laying it on my heart to start a bible study. Myself and 3 of my coworker have been praying about it. We’ve asked for guidance, courage, we’ve asked for our fears to be turned into Gods peace. Not only was this post uplifting and encouraging I believe it was sent from God. Winning this kit would be an answer to our prayers. Thank you!!!

  11. Becky

    The idea for a women’s group to encourage each other, learn more about the Bible, and bring together women from different faiths has been “nagging” at me now for several months. I,too, can think of excuses. I will be gone most of May; when I return, I’ll be having minor leg surgery throughout the summer. I do not know much about the Bible, although I do know more now than I did. I’d love the camaderie of a group of women; I’ve always had a strong network of friends and then we moved 400 miles away from them when my husband retired. I am making new friends, some really awesome women, many with deep faith. I’d just like to fellowship with them on a regular basis. Iliked the every other week idea of meeting.I would never want it to be a drag on anyone’s time. I’d hope it would be something they would look forward to, carving special time out of their busy days. And I have the nicest house I’ve had all my life, although it is very humble. So no excuse there ! 🙂

  12. Mary Beth

    My husband is the manager of a campground. Our home is right on site at the camp and there are many people around me who I would like to share Jesus with and be more open about my faith. I enjoyed your email and the encouragement – thank you.

  13. Debbie Kidwell

    I want to share Jesus with my neighbors who are mostly empty nesters as well as a group of young moms who meet regularly. This would allow me to target 2 groups of people who are far from God! Thank you for the encouragement!!!

  14. nancys1128

    Some days I both love and dislike God’s timing!

  15. Rebecca

    Reaching out of our comfort zones is scary. Lately I keep asking myself, “What would happen if I got serious in my relationship with God?” I always thought I was serious. I have served in church for nine years. I teach the word to my children. I love my God intensely. But of course I am no where near perfect. In asking this question I have had to seriously assess my life and answer it. I know I need to reach out. I have even taken an evangelism class. I would love to reach out to my neighbors. Fear has kept me from it. I can feel God lovingly leading me to it though.

  16. nancys1128

    Some days I both love and dislike God’s timing!

    • nancys1128

      Double post, and both times only part of what I wrote posted. It must be a Monday.

      • nancys1128

        I guess I can’t write in paragraphs because again only one line posted. I’ve never thought about a neighborhood study, but one at work pops to mind often. Unfortunately, it is quickly followed with all the reasons why it won’t work. My list looks much like yours. Today, though, my brain is looking at all the reasons it is needed and how it can work. Thanks for the words that turned my thinking around.

  17. mari beth

    That’s a great idea. There is a chance I might get to stay home again and I contemplated having friends over foot a study but inviting neighborhood women would be better.

  18. Jennifer W.

    I have been wanting to start a community/neighborhood Bible study in our home for years and we believe we may just be embarking on it in the next couple of weeks. It is terrifying on one level, for all the reasons you mentioned! But these dear ones need Jesus just as much as I do and by God’s grace we will offer them a relationship with Him. I would love to have your kit because I am creativity challenged and spend so much time trying to prepare that I sometimes never get around to doing that for which I am preparing!
    Blessings–jennifer : )

  19. Tracy

    When I lived in my old neighborhood, we were situated in a development. My husband and I walked door to door introducing ourselves We started a neighborhood Fall Bonfire, Christmas progressive dinner etc. Sadly though, we weren’t Christians at the time, but we did love our neighbors! Fast forward to now. We are Jesus loving Christian, we now live in the country and our “neighbors” are not as close as before. There are a lot of women in the area who have lost their husbands through death or divorce. Even though we have not been formal with introductions we have met and chatted with many. This kit would help re-spark the things we did, but this time have an eternal purpose. I would love to go door to door again and say come on over! Thank you for the opportunity to enter!! Many blessings to you, Lysa!

  20. Christy

    Our church doesn’t offer any sort of Sunday school or small groups. I’ve said many times “Somebody needs to start one…” but I’m starting to think that I might need to be that somebody. This would be a fantastic resource to help get started.

  21. Dianna

    I’d love to be able to touch my co-workers and bring Jesus into thier lives. It’s a selfish reason actually…work has become a place of discontent for me. I’ve been struggling with keeping Jesus in my heart while at work and thought that if I could bring Jesus to my co-workers it would certainly help me to be surrounded by people who are encouraging. I’m just being honest.

  22. Diana Torres

    My plan is to start a group bible study but not necessarily in my neighborhood, but perhaps my neighborhood is where God wants me to do it. I can relate to say the least and need to pray for God to eliminate those fears to say the least.

  23. Heather

    I struggle tremendously with this, I can say anything about Jesus to anyone He brings to me. But the idea of going to them stops me in my tracks. It is like I am right back in elementary school afraid of what the kids are saying about me (insert sad head shake here). It really is amazing how confident I am in Christ in many ways and yet how strong a grip fear has in others!

  24. Crystal

    I would love to start a Bible study with my office “neighbors” – there are a couple girls I have been trying to reach out to, and this is the first time I’ve ever thought about it, but I’m going to start praying about the possibility of starting a Bible study during our lunch break!

  25. Stella

    What a great kit! I attend a church with a wonderful “older” group of members, as well as a base of “children”. Sometimes I feel that my group, somewhere in the middle is often left out. Perhaps an in-home Bible study might be what we need.

  26. Meredith

    I have been praying about reaching the parents of my soccer boys. I have an at risk soccer team of 10-13 yr old that have been together for 3 seasons now (1 1/2 yrs) it has been nagging on my heart about having a bible study with their moms but I am scared and need direction. I’ve prayed long and hard and hear Gods call to “just do it”… The same way we just “did it” when te call came to take on these boys….. This kit could help put heart into action.

  27. Mary Mauk

    I’m a 50 year old empty nester surrounded by young moms and senior citizens. I’ve got neighbors whose names I don’t even know while others are old friends. I don’t think this is a unique situation. I’d like to win one of these kits and put it to good use.

  28. Dorothy

    What awesome timing! God put a study of some sort on my heart in November, I figured He must have the wrong gal! I’ve made too many mistakes, I don’t have much confidence in my self or my knowledge of the Bible. I figured He must have surely meant my friend should be the one doing this! Anyway I took a small leap of faith and organized a recipe swap with new ladies in my neighborhood and some old friends. What an amazing group of women and how God has taken so many different personalities and intertwined them to show me just how powerful women in prayer can be. Every month I organize a themed recipe swap ( food is slways a good way to bring gals together) I set out a bunch of bible study books I had purchased and read from Proverbs 31 ( ones i brought for my own person growth and to help me at certain points in my life) and some of my friends asked to borrow them based on what they were dealing with in their lives at the moment. Since then we meet every month for a themed recipe swap, I try to put new books out, we pray for each other and our families and some of us have formed a daily walking group and we share how God is working in our lives. I see clearly that God is calling me for more then just books on the table He has made that abundantly clear. Our group keeps growing and the issues that we are asked to pray for have shown me that this study is needed in my neighborhood and beyond it! I can’t tell you how much help that kit would be to me but even if I don’t win it I know God will lead me to the resources I need to work in His Holy name! Thank you for this post! Truly God meant for me to read this today! Blessings! Dorothy in Virginia

    • Amy Lively

      Dear Dorothy, this is wonderful! I love how you’ve found something very natural, and God has opened the door for the spiritual. He is faithful!

  29. Kim

    I can relate very well to this. I am a stay at home mom of 3 boys. 2 of them I currently homeschool, the other is 20 months. I too have felt the nudge to start a study & end up tripping over my own words with my neighbors. This is an amazing thing you have done & I too will get there. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Ellen

    It seems that I am new to living in a neighborhood for 10 years, since having to move. Everyone is SO to themself, and I so can’t seem to break the ice with most anyone on this little street. Perhaps a bible group is an invite to help us discover each other with God’s leading hand “as the cup of coffee eye opener!” What a great idea and congrats on doing what you fear to do yourself!

  31. Mary Ann

    It is so amazing what ministries God brings to His children who have open hearts to His still small voice. What a wonderful “starter pack” for all of us who desire to be used by Him. Thanks for your faithfulness to serving such an amazing God. I would love to share one of these kits. Blessings, sweet sister-in-Christ!

  32. Shelly

    I needed this. The thought of a bible study has been on my heart for a couple years. Thank you for putting yourself out there for others like me.

  33. Deborah Morey

    We are transferring from Ohio to Wisconsin. I’ve already started a list of excuses to not get involved with my new neighbors. Then I read this. Convicting. Lord help me to reach out and have an impact for your kingdom no matter what

  34. Dottie Darst

    I’m sad to say we have lived in our neighborhood for 9 years and there are still families I have not met. What better way to do that than through a Bible study in my home. Am I scared? Yes! Is God able? YES! So what’s my excuse? 🙂

  35. Terrie Walley

    I would love to start a neighborhood Bible study group. We had one once, but life got too busy with other things. We need God to draw us back in and get back together. We have grown apart as friends and I think this is the perfect thing to bring us back.

  36. Susan Straley

    I would love a neighborhood kit. We’re really good at doing ministry as we’re involved in our church, and Christian radio station, and a Christian youth camp. We’ve not good at reaching our neighbors and I’ve been praying about what we can do to reach them.

    We would put the kit to use two ways. We would use it to reach out to our neighbors and I would love guidance on that. I think the ideas would also be useful for my son and his wife as they invite people they know to young couples group at our house. He is very burdened for some friends that say they are Christians but don’t seem to have a relationship with God. He asked to use our house because we have a large living room and we would be available to take care of the children while the young couples meet.

  37. Lorraine Appleton

    Interestingly enough, God put in my heart just yesterday, to start a walking club in our neighborhood. I don’t talk to any of my neighbors. Haven’t made the effort since we moved here 3 years ago. In fact, I don’t like my neighbors. They play loud music, hve loud parties, etc. No one I’d even want to know. So with my luck, I’d win this give away just because God has jokes and holds me to carry this new assignment just like you did! 🙂

  38. Elizabeth

    I would love to get my neighborhood together for a bible study this summer- we are a group of families that vary greatly in age We are all going different directions but I think with Gods grace we could help each other to be our best. We live in a busy summer resort town and need Gods word in the summer to keep our sanity. I hope I win the kit and help to spread the Word …

  39. Lisa

    This would be a great start for a new homeschool mom. I plan to homeschool my son next year, I know a few other mom’s that are also just getting started, what a great way to start TWO things at once!

  40. Xiomara

    I started a weekly bible study in my home with a young lady from my church at the begining of this month. Things are going great but I feel like God wants me to reach more women. I go on prayer walks throughout my neighborhood every week. It would be a blessing to step outside of my comfort zone and start a neighborhood bible study group.

  41. Tonya

    It is always encouraging when you hear others admit to the same fears as you. I feel I am constantly trying to figure out what God wants me to do to encourage others. I am on the shy side so approaching people is way out of my comfort zone. Your kit looks very organized and doable. I would love to know if they are for sale as well…I don’t have the best track record for winning things. Be blessed!

  42. maribeth

    Very timely post, I must say. My husband and I have felt God stirring up a 10 year old passion to start a home church in our small town. I especially have a heart for the ladies in our community and this post just fanned the flame to forge ahead and trust God to work out the details as we say “yes” to Him in every step. Thanks for sharing your story and would love prayer in this new adventure – scary as it may seem at times. 🙂

  43. Mary Smith

    Oh, boy, I am leaving a comment with “fear and trepidation”…knowing that if I did win I would have to do something about this “God nudge” 🙂 This is something God has put on my heart before but I have had all kinds of excuses not to do it!!!
    Thank you for this devotional this morning…God is stirring my heart again.

  44. Deb

    Wow – I would love to have a “door-opener” that’s classy looking & let’s me borrow from someone else’s courage as I take the next step in offering real Hope to my neighbor’s. The kit looks great & the teaching tools let me be “facilitator” which in my mind, is much easier than being a teacher! Thanks for the offer!

  45. Karla Herbert

    What a wonderful idea! When we moved into our neighborhood no one came over to welcome us. I wondered why. Maybe it was too hard to step out of their comfort zones. We have 2 new neighbors (with kids ~ my four will have lots of new friend) and I’m using your idea to break the ice and welcome them to our beautiful neighborhood! May we find common ground and Jesus in a fun delightful way!

  46. Natalie Driggs

    You are so right, it is easier for me to go to Africa than to cross the street and open my home to my neighbors. I know I have been to Africa but I haven’t been to my neighbors. The kit looks wonderful, but the only drawback, I would be accountable for going. God break my heart for what breaks yours.

  47. Lynette Eason

    I honestly don’t know if I want to win this or not. Because then it would be almost like I would be required to use it! However, I’m open to the possibility that God may be asking me to do this, so…I’m stepping out and putting my name in the hat for the kit. waiting to see what happens next. 🙂

    • Amy Lively

      Wouldn’t it be just like God to give you a Kit! I’m pretty sure He is asking you to love your neighbors… you and me both! The winners are being drawn now, let’s see if He chooses a Cafe as an avenue for you. Love and appreciate your honesty, Lynette!

  48. Chris

    I love the kit. And am always proud when a fellow Christian is going out on a limb for God. Thank you for your faith. I would live the kit. I’m moving and feel like this would be the perfect way to reach out to my new neighbors. Can you tell me where to go to buy it? I didn’t look so maybe you have it on here. Blessings to you and your neighbors today and always.

  49. Jenn

    This spoke to me as right now it is the question on my heart. I believe God placed this on my heart to start a mom’s community Bible study, but it is scary and I keep coming up with reasons or maybe there excuses or satan attacking me or maybe it is God wanting me to wait, oh don’t know. But I am going to keep praying and seeking God. This might be God’s way of speaking to me and giving me the answer I am searching for.

  50. Stephanie Santos

    Wow! This has been on my hear for almost 2 years! I tried last year to start a study, but I didn’t go about it the right way and after a few months, it didn’t work. It fell apart and I became discouraged, but still felt called to reach my neighbors, to be salt and light. Just this morning, I was praying for God to help me share my faith in more tangible ways. I searched online, in Christian bookstores, in my church, everywhere it seemed, to find a resource like this and I couldn’t find it! Now, here it is! So excited for this opportunity! I pray, with both joy and trembling, that I would win this kit! To God be the glory!

  51. Krista

    I go to a moms group every other week and would love to be a bit more intentional about starting a Bible study with my fellow moms! Thank you!!

  52. Jill

    God is nudging me to do something like this. Praying about this…I can think of a thousand reasons not to do it but that still small voice is still nudging me on…posting and praying for direction.

  53. Kim Parrish

    At our church we are participating in the “My Hope” Billy Graham evangelism tool in November. I have gone on many missions camps, trips, etc. I love to do that. Starting a Bible Study in my own home…and reaching out to those I know scares me to death!!! Talk about out of my comfort zone. Is this another step God is calling me to? I’m praying about it and truly do want to follow His leadership. The verse I memorized the other day was Galations 2:20…”I have been crucified with Christ…it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” Am I really living as if I have been crucified with Christ?

  54. Esther

    I’ve lived in my house for 5 years, and really haven’t had much conversation with my neighbors. We know their names, and we chit chat a little in the summer (in Minnesota people don’t go outside in the winter), but it would be nice to get to know them a little more.

    • Amy Lively

      I’m in Ohio… the climate really does affect our ability to be good neighbors, doesn’t it?! It’s hard when we really don’t go outside for months at a time. Many of my neighbors did respond when I invited them over last January, maybe because they were a little cabin crazy, too. I pray this spring and summer open doors for you in Minnesota!

  55. Minda

    I love this idea. My family and I just moved to Montgomery Alabama and into a large sprawling apartment complex. I would love to make some friends with our neighbors but don’t know how. This gives me some great ideas! We have a beautiful clubhouse that would be perfect for our visits. Thanks for your ideas, inspiration and encoouragement!

  56. Melanie Fierro

    Ok this sounded just like me and all the same excuses I have been making,,, and not to mention the sermons from our pastor the last few weeks have been about stretching yourself to reach your potential for God. As a matter of fact in his message yesterday he spoke of reaching your neighbors and how we need to move out of our comfort zone and follow Jesus and that it should lead us to invest in others. This was yesterdays sermon and now your devotional ,,,,hmmm I think I am to move out of the comfort zone and reach my neighbors. Thanks for an awesome devotional.

  57. Lara

    My beautiful friend Tracy just started a Bible study in our tiny town and faced so many of the same fears you shared. It has been such a blessing to me to get to know some of my neighbors and can’t wait to see all that God has in store for our town through these strong women!

  58. Kelly Combs

    I would love to win a kit and start my own neighborhood Bible study. I currently meet with a neighbor once a week, but I think this kit would help me grow our little twosome into something bigger and better.

  59. Debi J

    This sounds JUST like MY story too! I can give a strong AMEN to this devotion. Isn’t it amazing what God can do when we submit to His will and then obediently follow! Thank you for this reminder today….to trust Him and His plan for our lives! “Trust and obey there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey…”

  60. Kimberly Anderson

    Recently, God has been asking me to step outside my comfort zone. Yep, this would stretch me even further beyond my zone…….but I’m willing to try it!

  61. Tammy P

    What a wonderful idea. We just moved to Concord, NC last July and have no family or friends here. This would be a great way for me to meet some of the women in my neighborhood.

    • Amy Lively

      Hmmm… did you know the She Speaks Conference is in Concord??? If you go, I will give you a Kit! Or if you win, we can still meet up for lunch and you can tell me all about your neighborhood. I lived in Fort Mill, SC for a while and we had a business in Concord – it’s a lovely area!

  62. Betsy

    You explained me perfectly. I go to Bible studies, after 4 years I’m having the group to my house for our final night till we meet again in the fall. I help and encourage several family members 3 hours away by phone, text, and email…they can’t see my house. To walk across the street to the beautiful ladies around me, impossible.. We talk in our yards. Maybe this is what I need and now is the time. God Bless

  63. Y. McDonald

    THANK YOU!! I am now in the process of following God’s lead of developing a women’s prayer group and had those very same thoughts….all the what ifs one could imagine. God has placed it in my heart to start this group that would encompass prayer, bible study, service, etc., yet for a while, I didn’t think I could do it. Finally I envisioned my own version of Jonah’s whale and realized that instead of running from it, I need to run to it. I’m in the developing stages, but know that this word from you was true confirmation to just trust and He would lead.

    • Amy Lively

      I love that mental image of running INTO God’s plan! I pray great success for your prayer group!

  64. Tinia McLaughlin

    What a great way to meet the neighbors! Having come from a very rural environment, where your closest neighbor is literally 5 miles away, I have found it quite intimidating to meet my neighbor who now lives across the street. God has instructed us to go to the ends of the earth, what if I am the one who lives “at the end of the earth” and doesn’t follow that commandment!?

  65. Lorrie

    LOVE the Neighborhood Cafe kits 🙂 Just this past week i was invited to my neighbors home for coffee and treats! There was 6 ladies that came. It was fun to visit with the ladies, but as the coffee time went forward….the lady sitting next to me continued to use the Lord’s Name in vain….it was piercing to my heart….i wanted to come UNGLUED!!!! But thankful that i am doing the Unglued Bible study ; i did not come unglued. Not only was she using the Lord’s Name in vain, but than started gossiping ! Next day the lady that hosted the coffee time, came and apologized for her behavior. If i won this Neighborhood Cafe Kit i would team up with this lady and us Jesus girls would turn this around and have a Bible chat. BLESSINGS! Lorrie

  66. Emily

    Oh wow, I just moved into a new neighborhood in August. The neighborhood is growing by the day and I’ve somehow gotten voted onto the HOA Board of Directors. This 27 year old AF wife, and mom of 2 toddlers is totally petrified, but soooo many times I’ve thought I wonder if people would come if I invited them for a Bible study?? Why shouldn’t I just host an open house?!

  67. Edy Sutherland

    Hi Amy,
    How fun !! See, what happens when women say YES to God. This past weekend we gathered with our neighbors to serve a widow on our street by cleaning the weeds in her yard and trimming her trees. Most of us belong to different churches and attend different small groups. Our next door neighbor is Jewish and we’ve gone with her to a Purim celebration and she has hosted us for a Seder. We certainly could be more intentional about including our neighbors who do not worship Jesus. I’m inspired by your willingness to “step across the street” in spite of your excuses.

  68. Elizabeth

    Thanks for the encouragement and challenge. The cafe kits are a great idea and I don’t even like coffee!

  69. Jess

    This sounds like a wonderful kit. A friend and I were just talking about starting a group just yesterday after there not being any groups for us at our church and being told that we can join groups in other churches. We want to get to know ladies in our own church.

  70. Heather

    I love this! We just talked about this yesterday at church and it has been stirring in my heart to do more in my neighborhood. My husband and I were planning a block party but this would be great follow up after meeting everyone!

  71. Kris

    Yes, yes, and yes!!! I love my church, LOVE it, don’t get me wrong…but the more I talk to people, the more I am finding out that they NEED MORE. They need Jesus everyday, not just on Sundays, and they are craving His word and don’t know how or where to find it during the week. I would love to get this kit so that I can help them find what they are seeking. Thank you Lysa, and Amy, for this opportunity! 🙂

  72. Kelly Goodman

    what a great outreach tool! I love the idea of having the women in the neighborhood over for a time of fellowship & study. Our neighborhood has changed so much over the past 24 yrs. I don’t even know who my neighbors are any more (except for the one across the street). This would be a great opportunity to get everyone together!

  73. Karen Bowen

    When I start to read other people’s comments, it makes me feel like I should probably just sit this one out and not try to win. After all, I am not certainly not a creative speaker and I am not even sure where to begin. Just as I was about to hit that “x” button in the top right corner, the Lord showed me that it isn’t about how eloquent I am…it’s about taking part in something that I desperately need to take part in! I keep asking God to show me where I need to serve, this post was what I needed to read. Thank you for sharing about your obedience and how God is using you!! Also, thank you for offering this great kit 🙂

  74. Clair Herrera

    This is amazing! What a great idea! 🙂

  75. Debi J Holliday MSW

    WOW! This week I am speaking to a publisher about my children’s book HELLO NEIGHBOR! – a tool I hope to use to encourage my Jersey Shore neighbors who are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy…….and then I see The Neighborhood Cafe Kit and think…..oh Lord – is this really how it begins? Me, my house and this kit???? I love how He leads:-)

    • Amy Lively

      Debi, let me know if your book is published or available! I host a Kids’ Cafe for the children while moms meet, and this might be an excellent resource.

  76. Rachel L.

    HAHA, Africa WOULD be easier! My husband and I, on our first date, decided that we would do two things 1. Get married and 2. Be missionaries. We’re married, have been for several years and have 3 beautiful children. But we’ve never gotten to the missionary part. We’re in the process of trying to get to the Dominican Republic in September with our church and hopefully Etheopia in spring of next year with our pastor and to help out a missionary our church sponsors. But, it IS SO much easier to say and go elsewhere than to walk across the street. I’ve always been introverted, never the first to speak up. I can only tell you the names of the two people next to me and thats because my son is always yelling to them or throwing toys over the fence. I planned on going abroad witnessing through serving, not doing alot of talking. But, maybe this will help me come out of that shell and be a witness at home and boost my witness abroad as well.


    Only God know if this is His timing so I will put it in His hands. We are moving from KC to a little town called Calico Rock in Ar. I have meet many of the ladies and sence a real need for a woman”s bible study and a prayer group for this beautiful town. I am available if He desires to use me

  78. Kathy Burrow

    I have been thinking about trying to start a Ladies Bible Study in our neighborhood. We moved here 2 years ago and no neighbors greeted us either. We have tried to meet them but maybe this will help break the ice. We were also thinking about maybe trying to get a neighborhood yard sale going and having a block party after that. I would be out of my comfort zone but I am more willing every day.

  79. Jennifer

    I would love help with obeying Christ’s great commission.

  80. Betsy Hunter

    I have to say, I haven’t won anything in a long time. This topic has been on my heart. I just spoke to a fellow church member about it yesterday. She wants to start a n’hood bible study too. First, my n’hood has a reputation and I’d love to see God change that thru the hearts of some ladies. It’s full of the “world” and I’m willing to step out in faith and say, “Here I am, Lord” even if it means people will look at me funny at the pool. I’m ready. Pick me.

  81. Janelle

    I have had the desire to reach out to the women in my neighborhood ever since we moved here… and before that, in my previous neighborhood. At this point the desire is closely accompanied by guilt for not having “gotten around to it” at all. I really, really, really want to reach out, but feel inadequate and afraid. I know that I just need to take the first step.

  82. Marie Sarle

    What an awesome kit! We just moved here and I would LOVE to start a bible study in the neighborhood! I have been trying to meet the neighbors, but it’s been hard so far. Love the comment about bringing Jesus home on Sunday 🙂 This kit would be very helpful!

  83. Sheila

    Even though my husband and I have shared God’s good news on three continents, I still have those “knocking knees” when thinking about sharing it with my close neighbors. Yes, Lord, send me to Africa (and He did)–it’s easier there! I was recently challenged at a pastors and wives retreat to try “hospitality evangelism.” The Neighborhood Café sounds like a great idea to push me out the door.

    • Amy Lively

      Sheila, I love your heart for God’s people all over the world – what an inspiring testimony! I pray you have renewed courage and rewarding friendships with the women closest to your home as well.

  84. LeAnn

    This has been on my heart for some time now….just starting to read the Greater book endorsed by my Pastor. As I was walking my dog in my neighborhood, I have such a wide variety of neighbors, I am not sure where to go with this…but I need to start somewhere…..

  85. Brenda

    I have been praying about a new adventure with God’s leadership. Maybe this is it.

  86. Sherry

    Love the way God works! For the past couple of weeks I have been stuck on the idea that it would be a good idea to start a neighborhood Bible study. Then I check my email this morning and here is this post! I do not believe in coincidence so I will take this as a God nudge! I am experienicing all the usual hesitations and excuses not to do this. i have never done anything like this plus i am a late bloomer. i came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior on November 1, 2008 – I was 48. a free kit would be a great way to get this going. So pick me! Pick me!

  87. Jenny C.

    Thanks for the giveaway – exciting but scary opportunity! I want the Lord to use me, but not sure I’m ready for this . . . But, your story is very encourging, so thank you.

  88. Laura

    Well…makes my stomach knot to think about, but warms my heart. I’d like to try–think it would be a wonderful way to get to know my neighbors at a deeper level. Thanks for the encouragement!

  89. Christina D

    What an encouragement!! It has been on my heart, and I’ve fought it, to be more involved in coming alongside women and really being intentional. I think this kit would be a great guide and assist me in being obedient.

  90. Lisa Taylor

    You nailed me! We have lived in the same neighborhood for 4 years now and I know there has to be other sisters in Christ lurking like I have been. I would truly love to find them! What would our community be like if we were all believers??????

  91. Denise

    I would love to win a Neighborhood invite kit. My friend and I are going to do a bible study at her club house this summer. This would be a great way to get the neighbors involved instead of just church friends. I think this would expand our way to bring others to Christ and make some new friends. Thank you for posting this great idea.

  92. Samantha King

    I’d love to try this! I have lived in this same neighborhood for 3+ years yet can only name a few neighbors by name. I find that sad!

  93. Beth

    We are new in our neighborhood – and fairly new to the state as well. As we have looked for ways to minister as a couple/family, we’ve come up empty. This sounds like a great way to meet our neighbors and engage them in our home rather than taking turns trying to serve individually somewhere else.

  94. Samantha Gunnoe

    I would love this:) not for me but for what God would do through it for others. I use to lead a bible study in my home then I got hurt by many of the ones I called friends/ sisters. We are now all healed up & love one another but I’m just scared to death to put the same thing out there again. It’s what God has specifically called me to do & I want to with all my heart but then my fresh starts shaking & telling me lies that I can’t. I loved your blog today as I read it I felt convicted to stop holding back & step up because God will carry me. He will guide me not myself:) praise God for that! Thank you so much for sharing.

  95. Becky B

    This has been on my heart lately, and just like she was, I am great at making excuses. I would love to get a kit to help me out! Thank you!

  96. Reagan

    Living in a region of the Bible Belt, it’s shameful how many people have walked away from God because of something someone did or said at church. Having a meeting in your home would be a wonderful way start help someone find their way back to Jesus, not “church”. I already have a list of people in mind to invite!

  97. Michelle

    I think it’s a beautiful idea..Do I have the boldness to open my house to complete strangers?..Can I share the love of Christ this way?..I believe if I can, it’s only because God will give me strength to do it..thank you for tugging at my heart and listening to Gods will for my life..

  98. Nikkia Bell

    I would love to be a winner because I have never led a bible study before and God has used various people to help me realize that I should step out in faith and not allow my fear of how good of a leader I may or may not be to get in the way of sharing Christ with others and experiencing the joy of fellowship and community…something that I have been lacking for a long time.

  99. Nicole

    This has been on my heart to do for such a long while but I have been one of two things 1. Too afraid 2. Didnt have a clue how to get started. This blog has eased my fears and allowed me to see God’s opening door and has shown me it is possible for those who will push past their fears and step out of the boat. Now all I need is this kit to get started! Thankyou for all you do. It is so appreciated. Be blessed!!

  100. Sarah Bredemeyer

    Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I often talk about loving on our neighbors but I believe we “never get around to it” because well, we are scared they will think we are “jesus freaks”..like every one else..which we should be okay with because we are 🙂 . But in reality our neighbors NEED Jesus. We have a new widow down the street who could use some love, we have a mother who is always yelling at her kids and will plow all of us over on the street because she is in such a hurry and on the phone, new home owners across the street who spend their days drinking will kids ride their bikes, a single father whose son just recently moved out after a blow out with him…those are just a few. How precious would it be to build a neighborhood family? But where does one start? May the Lord begin to work in me, to form a plan, and win our little Constitution Ave over for the kingdom. Thanks again for sharing your heart!

  101. Nancy S.

    I love this idea, and yet as so many have expressed it completely frightens me too! But armed with such a creative, fun tool I would be motivated to try.

  102. Maria Scholma

    We just moved to a new state and bought a house in a neighborhood. I would love some tools to help me meet my neighbors and share Jesus with each other. It is all intimidating, but God brought us here and He has a plan. Trusting him!

  103. Pamela Blair

    I have only been in my current neighborhood for about 8 months (we are active duty military) and really only know one of the neighbors in my little subdivision. We live in a small town and I want to be able to do something for God as well as my neighbors, but when I think about what I need to do I begin to feel so overwhelmed. I am a social person by nature and not having any close friends in my area is very difficult. I would love to be able to not only share God, but our lives together as well.

  104. Linda

    Lysa thanks for posting this is something I’ve been thinking about for a few wks now.Also so glad you put the Proverbs 31 verses at the bottom been looking for them also.Keep up the encouragement.Linda

  105. Erica

    We just moved “home” after my husbands 8 year career in the Army. He was injured in combat 19 months ago. We are feeling very alone being back in the civilian community rather than being surrounded by military. We also left a lot of really amazing friends when he retired and we had to move. We have been in our new neighborhood for more than 6 mo and have only really met 1 neighbor! I would love love love to open my home up and try to meet some of the other moms here and share the Gospel. Thanks for this awesome offer!

  106. Blair M.

    I would love the opportunity to minister to those in my neighborhood (especially fellow lonely stay-at-home-mamas) but am not sure where to start. This amazing kit would help bridge that gap! Now I just need to start praying for the courage to follow through…

  107. Rose Michaels

    This could not come at a more appropriate time….. God has been dealing with me to start a Bible Study at home and I even shared it with a friend a week ago. Would love to win the kit as I also have no idea what I’m doing…. just willing to obey 🙂

  108. Tess A.

    Our church just had a series on “The art of neighboring” and then you had to go and post this…. 🙂 Ahhhh! Now I feel like God is nudging me to do more than just have a block party. Thanks for the nudge…and yes I am petrified…but know that God can do big things when we step out of our comfort zones….and across the street. 🙂

    • Amy Lively

      We are doing The Art of Neighboring, too, in my hometown of Lancaster, Ohio! Where are you from?? I could not believe God brought that vision to our church and civic leaders, then allowed me to be part of it.

    • Amy Lively

      Tess, we are doing The Art of Neighboring in my community of Lancaster, Ohio! I was so blessed that God would stir the hearts of our civic and church leaders and allow me to be part of it. Where are you located? I will be praying for your neighborhood and your entire town!

  109. Kristie S

    I love this idea. We are doing a discipleship study at our church and brainstorming ways to reach out to women in our community. This would be a great outreach! Thanks for sharing the idea.

  110. Rachel Hoover

    It’s pretty simple. I want to share the hope found in Jesus Christ! My dad died very suddenly on January 1st and I’ve just been overwhelmed by the fact that we may not have a tomorrow. What I do today…this moment…it matters in the heavenly realm. Jesus is watching. I don’t want to let Him down. Here am I. Send me.

  111. Nicole

    I can’t even believe this came across my Facebook page today! I just bought a house and last night was talking with my roommate about how I wanted to start DOING something about having other women in my house to minister to and love on. I have big dreams of a community-wide ladies ministry where women from all walks of life and church backgrounds can come together and be loved, challenged and spurred on to love others. Anyway…I would LOVE to win this kit as a way to help me get kick-started in this new endeavor. I want more than anything for my house to be an open door to my neighbors and would love some insight on how to best accomplish that. 🙂

  112. Marie Solla

    I, like you, need to stop making excuses and just do it.

  113. Shawna

    Wow! The Holy Spirit has been nudging me to to this for about a year now. There are a lot of unbelievers in my neighborhood. I know I need to walk across the street. My biggest fear is easing other women into a bible study gently. I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I started going to my very first one. This would be a fantastic tool to help. Thank you for this opportunity, and this story. What encouragement!!

  114. Stacie

    Loved this idea! Just moved into a new neighborhood and praying how we can love out neighbors in new ways!

  115. Tari

    What a creative idea! I would love to win one of these kits~

  116. AmberMC

    You have written the transcript of the dialogue inside my head! We felt God calling us to move about 2 years ago, and after a long, slow process, we are finally in our new house and neighborhood! I’ve been alternately excited and terrified as I think about doing something like this. Your post has given me confidence and encouragement to move forward. I would love to have the kit to help me get started!
    Thanks for the gentle, loving nudge!

  117. Amy K.

    I have been convicted recently to be obedient to follow the Holy Spirit’s urgings, even when it sounds strange and feels uncomfortable. So this is something that I have been thinking about, and though I’m scared to death, I’m trying to let the truth sink in that our command is to love people right where they are and open our hearts to them. Thanks so much for your post!

  118. Nikki Stringer

    This is GOD all the way!!! God put this very thing on my heart 2 years ago…..but THEN, my brand new beautiful 14 month old house burned to the ground, seriously!!! If THAT wasn’t the excuse of a life time, right!?! But God, how can I do what you want without a house now?? Then living with my mother for 9 months in a God-less home, it wasn’t happening there.. And now, with my family finally back on our own, we are in a not-so-nice rental house, surely its not good enough to do something like that in, right God? Wrong! God does not expect perfect conditions, God showed me yesterday from my pastor’s very powerful sermon on “How to live for Christ in these perilous last days” that now is the time to witness with boldness, not later. The time is late and the time is now…. There are lost loved ones and neighbors that need Jesus. So now, what? How do I start? Well, here it is 🙂 Thank you AMY for writing this “how to” We just gotta do it for Jesus!

  119. Riley T

    I would love the neighborhood invite kit. I would love to have a bible study in my home but I am a nervous wreck just thinking about it. Im afraid I will say the wrong thing or do something embarrassing. Im terrified of speaking in front of people even friends. This kit would help me plan better and not feel as overwhelmed trying to plan. Thank you for the post today it made me feel better.

  120. Abidingwoman

    I have lived in the same neighborhood for 40 years. I grew up here and moved a street behind my mom, who too still lives here. I am raising my children with the children of those I grew up with. Long history is sometimes the hardest to overcome. Though I have always been a believer my rebellious years and prodigal ways are still remembered around here. Sometimes, maybe, only in my mind but enough for me to be stilled by them. I have on my heart to reach out to those who know and may remember because Christ has done amazing things to redeem this life. But fear… A plan, a purpose, that sounds wonderful. Turning the inner dialogue to “But God…”

    • Karen

      I am new in Christ (2yrs) I am a 50 year old woman with lots of rebellious years in my past. I live in a small town and have been here for 38 years. Yes many people I see in church now probably remember things I am not proud of. But God choses not to remember, He forgives me. I always tell myself, “God forgives me, that is all the matters” I know He is making me stronger every day. Halleluyah!

  121. Sarah

    My husband and I are in a community group with a few other couples from our church, and our goal is to get to know our neighbors so we can love them the way Jesus calls us to. I’d love to see the kit to get some ideas on how to do this!

  122. Janet Reynolds

    I have wanted to start a Bible study for months now. I was drawn to this post because it seems you experienced the same fears I am having now. In my heart, it sounds like a great idea. In my head, I am worried I don’t know what or how to do this. I’m not educated enough. I’m somewhat shy. I don’t know many people that would even bother showing up.
    Even if I’m not a “winner”, I would appreciate prayers that I overcome my fears and step outside my comfort zone and share Christ with others. Our little family has recently joined a new church, and I keep thinking this would be a great way to fellowship with the ladies as well. It’s just that darn fear of rejection and all the other fears that is holding me back. Thanks for a great post!!!

  123. Stephanie

    What an awesome way to reach my neighbors! I would love to win this so I could use the ideas to reach my neighbors.

  124. Susan

    I moved from the East Coast to Utah 8 months ago. I live in the middle of a Mormon neighborhood, and have been praying about how to make a connection with these lovely women whose beliefs are so different. This is a very tight knit community, and not open to Christianity. I have felt so burdened for them, and yet so fearful. The blog today gave me the push I needed to trust God. I would love to have one of the kits to help with some ideas. Whether I win it or not, Please pray for Utah…this is a huge mission field!

  125. Riley T

    I would love the neighborhood kit. I have been wanting to start a bible study in my home but I allow fear to overcome me to I never go through with it. I make to many excuses and afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I need to pray harder and think outside of my comfort zone and and overcome my fears. Thank you for the post today!!

  126. Mary

    Amy Lively – you ROCK!!!

  127. Renee

    This just makes my stomach drop. I have longed to do just this, b/c i remember my mom telling me of doing home bible studies w/ neighbors. I have found myself imagining holding one in my home, but all my short comings if how i can’t do it or that it can never work out…who would want to listen to lil me anyway. The longing still remains though, to touch lives in Jesus name. Fear of rejection just lerks its

  128. Mariah Griggs

    I would be so blessed to win this kit, as we have just moved into a new neighborhood, in my hometown. We have been attending church on Sundays, but I know God is calling me to do more. Everyday (I’m a stay at home Mom and wife) I have a yearning to do more for Jesus and I wasn’t sure what it was! This would be absolutely perfect. I just know God desires for me to share his Gospel in my community and I would love to have an extra reason to get to know my neighbors 🙂 thanks so much for your blogs and encouragement! God Bless!!

    • Amy Lively

      Mariah, I am praying that your new neighborhood is a blessing to your family. Please share your ideas with your new church so they can be your prayer partners and a shield for you. Be blessed!

  129. Abby Palacios

    We are currently on week two of the Unglued Bible study (which is amazing!) Using the participant’s guide along with the DVD and most of the ladies are also reading the book, and the devotional! This was a huge step out of the box for me, TONS of prayer over a few months and finally decided to do it just 8 weeks shy of my due date with my 3rd little one =) I am impressed how much of God’s glory and shown through all of this and am just so Blessed to be a part of a wonderful wonderful church family <3 I would love to use this Cafe Kit in another study I have been researching to do next Fall! I love how transparent Lysa is, and am always wondering how she knows so much about my life =) Blessings!

  130. Crissy

    This makes me nervous just thinking about it but something I am passionate about in my heart & would love the opportunity to try

  131. Sabrina

    I currently work at a church full-time and am one of the leaders in our Womens Ministry. I am so engulfed in ministry in church, I would love to go outside my box and reach the people right in my own neighborhood (especially because my sis-in-law is one of my neighbors!). I would love to win – its sad to think I have not even met many of my neighbors!

  132. Pam

    I’ve been in my n’hood for about 18 months now and I still do not really know anyone. We moved just far enough away from our old town/community that it is hard to get together with old friends and neighbors. This would provide a wonderful way for me to reach out to the ladies in my neighborhood. I know it would help push me out of my comfort zone!

  133. Angie Swanbeck

    Wow! I have all the same excuses except for my house would involve cat hair 🙂 I have been dreaming of a bible study group in my house for years. Someday…..

  134. Jackie Hustead

    God has really been nudging me to be more intentional in sharing my faith this past year. I used to joke & say ‘I can get them into church & my husband can teach them.’ God has been reminding me that it is all our jobs to be intentional in sharing about Christ. I had many of the same fears that were mentioned. Our women’s ministry decided to step out in faith this January when we challenged & encouraged our ladies to read through the Bible in a year. I was terrified at first because I am not as versed as I feel I need to be. We meet every Thursday morning at my house & what a blessing!! God has shown me that it really is not about me, but all about him. His Scripture comes alive each week…challenging, encouraging, equipping each of us. I would like the neighborhood kit to share with our ladies & be more intentional in my neighborhood. Most of the ladies come from church, but a few neighbors are trickling in. The harvest is ripe! Having simple tools to help spur us on is welcomed!! Thank you for sharing (it seemed like so much of my story).

  135. Lori

    This is an awesome idea! I would love to win this. 🙂

  136. Sue

    I have a heart for families in my neighborhood. I pray for them as l take walks or run. I have gtten to know only a few of them because not many people spend time outside. I would love to get to know them on a deeper level. The selfish part of me (as we approach the empty nest) is that l am yearning to find a purpose for this stage of life. Right now, it seems like l am not needed.

    • Amy Lively

      Sue, you are needed more than ever in your neighborhood! Young moms will appreciate your expedience and wisdom, older women will treasure your time and friendship. You can make a difference in your neighborhood!

  137. Stephanie

    How do you reach the ‘nations’ without reaching those in your backyard first? Isn’t that where it should start, locally? Winning this kit would be a phenomenal tool to open the door and reach in to deliver the love of God.

  138. Shari

    I was just talking about this with my husband the other day! We’ve been in our house for 2 years now and know 3 of our neighbors – that’s it! I don’t want to step on any toes, but I truly feel that social networking/facebook has replaced relationships in some people’s lives. Because of these “counterfeit” relationships, I truly think people are craving real, face-to-face relationships. Maybe I shouldn’t speak for other people – I know I am craving real, face-to-face relationships. We moved to NC from MI 6 years ago leaving behind everything and everyone that we know. I have really had a hard time developing strong relationships with other women here and would love to start a Bible study at my house. I’m craving some girl time and some deeper friendships. Problem – I just don’t know how to approach it or where to begin. I can relate to all the excuses you listed, but I’m ready for a change! Ready to step out of my boat (or front door).

  139. Mel

    The kit is awesome. I’m not brave enough yet to host a Bible Study, but I’m praying for the strength to get there.

  140. Robbie

    At church and through other media I have heard Gods Word say “go and make disciples”. We should disciple believers and grow in Gods Word. This is what I would do through the guidance of our Lord.

  141. Debi B

    We’ve lived in our home 6 years. I know some names and faces, but honestly I know their pets better than I know them! How truly heartbreaking is that! Fear stinks and certainly paralyzes, but I don’t even know how to begin. All I hear is that voice saying, “They won’t come…you’re not the hostess type…you’re too busy…they’re too busy…” Seems the enemy is busy talking and I’ve been listening. So, how do I start?

  142. Erin Raske

    Thank you for this message today! This is something that I struggle with and just need to break free from!!!

  143. kaylenn

    I have never thought about doing that. I have a great neighborhood with great neighbors, but wouldn’t that be awesome to get closer to God together. I would love to have tthe kit to help me get started.

  144. Miranda Jones

    Thank you for sharing this! Recently it crossed my mind about doing an in home neighborhood bible study. God is good! I’m also looking forward to the She Speaks conference this summer!

  145. Judi Neeley

    I have felt led to do this for a while and just need a little boost to get it going. I would love to get to know my neighbors and see what God has for us.

  146. Nancy crouch

    Never really considered this because of all my fears, but love the reminder that it’s not about me. Would love to have this study. Thank you

  147. Janet Axelson

    I want to go and tell…and I’m scared too…But, I’m more afraid to disappoint God! I would love this!

  148. Rachael

    Just the other day I was discussing with my husband a way to reach out to the others in my apartment building. Unfortunately, that’s as far as it got until I read this today. So now I’ve taken some steps forward and even if I don’t win, I know that I’ll still go through with the reach out. Winning would just smooth the way a little. I wouldn’t even need the whole package. Just some samples that I could translate into another language since 98 percent of my building doesn’t speak English anyway lol. Thank you for this great opportunity to win something that is so helpful and for sharing many great ideas to others that are wondering “where do I go from here?”

  149. Judy

    I would love to win a kit! Our small group did a study over a year ago called ‘Making Room for Neighbors’, which also talked about reaching out and meeting them and inviting them into your home. Have I done it yet, no. But I know that they may never know the love of Jesus unless I take that first step….of opening my MOUTH! 🙂

    • Amy Lively

      That is always the hardest part for me, too, Judy!

  150. Melissa Baldwin

    I would love to have this “toolbox”! I have lived in my home for 4 years now and barely know any of my neighbors. I want and need to change that.

  151. Ann Clayton

    I would love this. I’ve always wanted to do a neighborhood group, but didn’t know how to get started.

  152. Joani

    I would love, love, love to do this in my neighborhood. Something I’ve often thought about, but didn’t know where to start (and/or a little scared about actually jumping in). The kit looks so creative and comprehensive. No more excuses. Pick me, pick me!!!

  153. Pamela

    My dear friend and I live around the corner from each other. We have been talking about starting a study for women in our neighborhood since we met last fall. I am stuck at the “where do I start?” phase. I am intrigued by how you introduce the meetings and run them.

    • Amy Lively

      Hi, Pamela – I host an Open House a couple of times a year to welcome all the women in my neighborhood, whether or not they’re interested in a Bible study. When we do get into the Bible study, I always choose a topic and speaker that is inclusive for women from many different faith backgrounds (or no faith at all!). I wrote the “Espresso” mini-mag for this purpose. It introduces the women to each other very naturally before moving into deeper spiritual conversations. The most important part is building relationships naturally with no agenda or pressure. God bless!

  154. Pam Childs

    I’ve known that God wants me to reach out to my neighbors….. Next door, a newly single mom of a 2 year old, around the corner, my former classmate who is taking care of her mom, who has dementia, the woman across the street who gardens on Sunday mornings… to name a few. God has made me keenly aware of their need for encouragement in Jesus’ name. Your kit would be valuable, such a blessing.

  155. Karen

    I want so badly to go out and tell the world. “Send me to Africa. That would be easier than going across the street.” Isn’t that the truth?! We are in the very beginnigs of starting a bible study, but we don’t really know how to structure it. This would be so awesome!

  156. Opal

    I would love to win a kit, so many of us are broken and want to find our way back home to our father God almighty but just do not know where to turn, or do not want to go at it alone, this is a great way to learn together and heal together, to heal our neighborhood,and our homes.

  157. Teresa

    “The thing I was dreading became my greatest joy” is a powerful transformation that I want for myself. It is not about us, but God is so gracious to change us as well

  158. Michelle

    WOW–a few weeks ago I went to a ladies’ conference. Jen Hatmaker talked about just LOVING your neighbors. Being friends. Creating relationships. Getting our of our comfortzones. I love your comment ”It would be easier to Africa!” Why are we so weird?? I’m in. All in. My messy house still waiting for flooring that has so many spit-up splatters I can’t keep up with them. My laundry room that is ALWAYS overflowing onto the kitchen floor. My foyer that is filthy with the dirtiest stuff that I draw the line and make my kids take XYZ back into that foyer, not in my clean (ahem) house. OK, I’m in. Less of me, more of Him.

  159. Brandie Potter

    In the last 6 months I have heard a calling, a drive to do Women’s ministries. We started a small book club for women out of our Sunday School, but truly I have a vision, which is from God, to reach women outside of our Sunday School. Why not start in our front yards. This would be an amazing tool to start this new journey that God is developing in my soul!

  160. Bethany

    Wow. I have felt nudged over and over to start a small study for my very religious (but not in Christ) neighbors. I’ve been unsure of where to start and took nervous to figure it out.
    What a wonderful ministry! Thank you for putting it together for us to barrel past all of the excuses and just DO IT!
    (Psssst…pick me! Pick me!!)

  161. Tonya

    This kit sounds great! So often I feel like I am not very mission minded if I don’t go overseas or out of town to tell others about Jesus, when in fact there are hurting, lost souls in my own backyard, in my own town. This sounds like something that would help me to venture out in my neighborhood and draw others to know Jesus too! Thank for the bible verses and ideas!

  162. Christina

    Such a heartfelt blog post that is also infused with humor… and So true to how many ladies feel. Our culture frowns upon knocking on aquaintances doors! Mormons and Jehovahs witnesses are often mocked and many people are shocked to hear an unexpected knock…i live near Seattle, so i realize other regions may be different, but i do think a distrust of “strangers” has become somewhat narionwide. So not what Jesus would likely want…yes, use your brain, but no to fear of ladies in ypur neighborhood!

  163. Karleen

    I just went to a Sister’s night at church and the theme was “Hospitality”. Your topic today petrifies me and I have all the “legitamate” excuses you had. Your kit would be a great tool to help me grow and share my faith with other’s in my neighborhood…..maybe. I am nauseous just writing this! Ugh!

  164. Carie Benoit

    This totally speaks to my heart as I tried to start a neighborhood Bible study last year and it just didn’t work out how I had envisioned and God has put it on my heart to try again but I am not sure where to start because I am so afraid of failing and letting people and God down again. I would love to win this kit to have a starting point and guide as to how to start this Bible study. We just moved into a new neighborhood and don’t know any of our neighbors so this would be a great way to get to know them as well. Thank you for your post even if I don’t win it has truly inspired me to keep moving forward with a Bible Study. 🙂

  165. Britiney @ Consider the Lilies

    I’ve been hosting a study in my house for a couple of years and the leader mentioned she may not want to lead again in the Fall. I feel like maybe I should step up to lead to keep it going but I’m afraid of failing. I’d love to have some encouragement and resources to help me. Thanks for your words today.

  166. Amber Bennett

    I just got done asking about starting one of these with the rest of my family and a couple of other friends. I would love to see what the kit would do to help me get started…I need all the ideas I can get…I have never been part of a small group and I really need it right now.

  167. Alisa

    My mother is 80 and her small group at church has just been talking about reaching out to neighbors. She uses a walker to get around and has been going out on walks hoping to meet neighbors. We were discussing ideas such as baking cookies and taking them door to door as a way to meet our neighbors, praying and asking God for guidence. I am super excited about this kit because I feel like it is an answer to prayer.
    Hope I win one. If not I hope you will show us how to purchase one.

  168. Suzie

    I just want to say Thank you for having this! I have already started a Ladies Bible Study in my home. Most of the ladies are members from our church. We are moving this summer and so Bible Study will be taking a break after we finish the book we are currently working on, but I am now looking at whom I can get to come when we start again in the fall! Thanks again!! 🙂

  169. Missy

    I would love to have the neighborhood cafe kit. I lead a women’s bible study at church, but God has been nudging me about doing one in our neighborhood.

  170. Nita

    Wow God’s timing is so on target sometimes! I have battled with starting a Summer Women’s Bible study at my home this summer. This blog/article was the push that I needed to hear God’s whisper of this is exactly what e is wanting from me right now and the idea of involving my neighbors is an added bonus!!! Thank you so much: )

  171. Rachael Brown

    This has been stiring in my heart for a while now too- I came up with the names “Pastries & Proverbs” Or “Pj’s and Promises” Then I started thinking about how difficult it would be with my torn floors and stained rugs and dirty floorboards, then about schedules and my 5 kids- then the neighbors kids then, then, then…. After reading this I was stirred to just go for it. No excuses- it’s not about me… I found myself really relating to what you said- my concerns are more about feeling inadequate then meeting new neighbors but I still ‘get’ what you overcame to get here. I would love this kit to get me started. In any case thank you for your testimony and encouragement.

  172. Sharen

    I keep waiting for my house to “shape up” before I invite neighbors over. My fears are the same as yours…but now I see that if God is my “party planner” then I have nothing to fear. THANK YOU!

  173. Donna Harris

    I feel the same way about going to Africa rather than across the street. Love the blog! Would love to win.

  174. Jennifer

    I am transitioning from corporate world to stay at home mom, and I have felt God’s call to ministry since 6th grade. Staying at home is one more step on the journey as I learn how to raise godly kids and minister to my neighbors. I have wanted to start in home Bible studies for a long time. I don’t know any of my neighbors much like Amy. This could be the launchpad for me.

  175. Michelle

    Why do I want to win? Because I literally said yesterday that I would love to do this but I can’t even figure out how to print invitations. When I saw this kit had everything, including invitations, I knew this was confirmation.

  176. Renee

    Oops, I accidentally posted a half response I think. I would be so happy to win this lovely prize. I am deeply convicted that I need to reach my neighborhood with the love of Jesus. I have many of the same fears as you, and I am so thankful for this timely post and the scriptures to overcome those fears!


    Would love to win a kit, but I must confess, I am already doing a bible study but I can totally relate to your post. I was scared, still am to a degree, was worried about who would come, would anyone come, what if they aren’t saved, what if I don’t know the answer to the tough questions, what if they are not from a christian faith, what if what if what if……Finally, I said yes to God and it’s been an amazing journey of almost two years now. Different ladies from different back grounds, but girls who need God and each other to lean on. Ladies, reading this, if God wants you to do it, you will and he will be with you ever step of the way!

    • Amy Lively

      Christie, I would love to talk to you about your experience! Please contact me through my website if you’d like to share. http://www.theneighborhoodcafe.net

  178. Amy Marsh

    I just think this is amazing! Maybe just something God says to me like “Just do it & watch me bless!” Another way for God to prove his faithfulness in my life.

  179. Amy Wall

    Our small group was just talking about ministering in our home town over the weekend. So we have decided to make this our Sunday School class mission project. We plan to reach the unchurched with a backyard bibe study/club. This kit will be a great start for us!

  180. Amber Love

    I am 29 and have varied ages of neighbors whom I have often felt like, “shouldn’t we know each other?” And “how in the world could God use us to share with them?” Our neighbors on one side are even a pastor and his wife and we don’t attend their church. But I would love love love to get to know them better! Our neighborhood needs Jesus and this would be so refreshing to spend time with the very people who live in proximity to us. We live in a society where we all go our separate directions and don’t even know our “neighbors.” Thank you for an opportunity to help break that cycle. 🙂

  181. Michelle

    My husband and I are praying about how we can get more involved with our neighborhood. Your blog really resonates with me right now as I am dealing with these same fears with what I believe that God is calling me to do – to reach out and love my neighbors. I have been working with ladies in bible study over the past two years in a church setting but they have come seeking – the thought of making myself vulnerable and inviting people into my home is very scary. I believe this resource would be very helpful as I was thinking to do this over the summer.

  182. Crystal Cotey

    Really needing this… such a good way to “Love on” my neighbors and maybe change the whole attitude about what being a neighbor is.

  183. Jennifer

    It’s funny that you would blog about a bible study this morning, it’s probably a god-thing. I have a friend that is a single mom as myself, I met her in one of my college classes I was taking and she has been my tutor for College Algebra this last semester. Well, I said it’s funny b/c yesterday she was at my house, and she was telling me that starting a neighborhood bible study was what God had put on her heart to do, but, she had no idea how to go about it. She has a heart for the people she lives around but could use some guidance as to how to go about it. I think your kit would help her fulfill God’s plan in her heart, or, at least give her hope as to it’s god idea. She said the very excuses you say in your blog that you had as to why not to do it and to push it away. She can’t get away from her call on her life. She says, I’m not a teacher, I have a busy schedule, etc. So, I’m reading your blog today and laughing b/c she had the same excuses as to why she hasn’t gone across the street. Thank you for your time in reading this. Have a blessed day!

  184. linda

    Amy, your 4 objections are mine too! I have had a bible study on my heart since last fall. I would love the kit to guide me into stepping out to host.

  185. Courtney R

    God has been calling me to lead a neighborhood study for well over a year now. I’ve been full of good intentions and lots of excuses! This spring I finally invited some ladies over for a “tea” and it only confirmed what the Lord has been asking me to do. Our family is the only churched family in our cul-de-sac! I have really been praying what study I could lead that would really be relatable to many different backgrounds. Maybe this kit is just the kick in the pants I need to move forward!!

  186. Deb

    What a wonderful idea and opportunity for neighborhood friendship and fellowship! I live in a wonderful little cul de sac with 5 other families…they range in age from retired 80 year old couple to several young families with new babies…would be a great way to connect!

  187. Christy McNeal

    I love it ♥!!!! I’d love to win this, it’d help me with my support group for parents of incarcerated youth I’m starting!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  188. Jennifer

    This is perfect timing. I would LOVE to win this kit. Our family recently picked up our lives and moved to a new area. God has called us here to plant a church. My husband is a pastor and I am His teammate in all of this. We KNOW He is calling us to reach unbelievers. In fact, to start this new church with unbelievers. Crazy? Yes. Is it scary? YES. But this is what God has called us to. I would LOVE this kit to help me to the next level. I have met and know many of my new neighbors. They do not have a relationship with Christ. We have had them over for meals BUT I know God wants me to share my faith with them..to go deeper… That’s exactly why He sent us here….but I battle with fears of rejection and how God? I love meeting new people but sharing my faith with unbelievers makes me nervous. I feel stuck. I know that God would use this to help me and give me more confidence to reach our community..in practical ways. Thank you for putting this resource together. May the lost find Christ and believers find confidence in sharing the most important relationship in our lives. Blessings to you today. Thanks, Jennifer

  189. Brenda K.

    I have lived in my neighborhood for a year, but really haven’t gotten to know any of my neighbors on a deeper level. This would be a great way for me to reach out to them and build relationships with them. Thanks!

  190. Stephanie Alphin

    Hi! I would love to have this resource to start a Bible study from my home. We have so many new women in my church – many struggling with past abuse, broken homes and marriages, and feelings of unworthiness. I remember so clearly being where they are and would love to have a tool to help bring them together so that they don’t feel alone, and to share with them that their is hope and a future through our Savior. I’m terrified at the thought of leading such a group, but have promised God to be obedient if He opens the doors. 🙂

  191. Betty Holden

    I currently stay at home with my mother in law who’s had a stroke last July. I love this idea because I could get to know my neighbors and share the bible and learn about God and the bible with others.
    We were home bound July/January and her family doesn’t come around much to visit and interact with her. I feel this would be a wonderful opportunity to share on so many levels and hopefully lift her spirits at the same time. She still has difficulty speaking and the family members are uncomfortable around her. We could use the fellowship and love that I think would come with a bible study.
    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. They will be a lot of help. God Bless.

  192. Cyndy S.

    The Lord has been leading me to have a Bible Study with my neighbors for years and I have been finding excuses not to for years. This might be the final push God has used for me to get up and meet my neighbors. Thank you for your wisdom. God bless you.

  193. Pam

    I live out in the country, so neighbor can be so many and so. Few ! What a great idea

  194. Hilda Keener

    I would love to win a kit. I need to stretch out of my comfort zone and share the ‘wonderfulness’ of our Lord and Savior with those who live around me.

  195. Brandi

    One of my friends and I have been talking about doing a neighborhood Bible study for a while now and we are planning to start this summer. We had no idea how to go about it, until I saw your kit! How perfect!

  196. Erin Stanford

    My husband has been encouraging me to do this and I have been resisting. I needed this article today and I am sure the kit would help alot!

  197. Britani Franklin

    My husband and I are new to our neighborhood. After successfully starting a small group on Sundays based on Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love, I have been feeling very compelled to go and meet my neighbors. My sister talks about how she uses her 2 year old son to meet her neighbors, having him take cupcakes to their front doors. Who could resist THAT?! Your kit would help me get there. Small group is accomplished, but with church goers. What good does that do? Next is woman’s group using your book Twelve Women of the Bible Study Guide. After that, neighborhood bible study!! Thank you Lysa, your books are inspirational to me. I started my journey with Made to Crave, and have just finished Unglued.

  198. Kit

    This would encourage me to reach out to my diverse community. We are are a melting pot in my neighborhood. God has placed them on my heart. I can’t imagine NOT doing this!

  199. Heather

    Every word of this article rings true for me. God has been calling me out of my comfort zone the last few weeks with great results. God is awesome and faithful, and (though it may be scary), his plan is better than mine. I love the idea of reaching out to neighbors through the gospel – imagine how it could transform a community, especially in a suburban neighborhood where we do little more than nod at each other on the way to the mailbox!

  200. Elaine

    There are very few families in my neighborhood who attend church, so with your help and God’s help I’m hoping to defeat the dread and my fears and begin a Bible study with neighborhood women. Oh, how I would need God to fill me with courage and strength to carry out the idea! Your post was very inspiring. Thanks!

  201. Shelly S.

    I have been feeling the Lord nudge me in this area for about 8 or 9 months now. I just don’t know where to start! Oh, and I have all those same excuses! I would love a starter kit!!!

  202. Michelle

    Not sure I want to leave a comment…probably because I’m afraid if I win one of these kits, then I have to commit to leading a Bible Study in my home – HA! My hubby leads one on Sunday evenings and it’s been such an inspiration to me…not enough for me to make the leap though! The Lord has been sending me young ladies to counsel – not sure why. I have a heart for young women – especially those struggling in their marriages. My marriage was saved by His grace almost 10 years ago, I supposed it’s time to share my testimony with my neighbors too!

  203. Beverly Dunn

    I live in a rural subdivision with many retired couples, and a few raising younger children. I know a few of my neighbors but have never met most. I cried after reading abut how you started a neighborhood Bible study. I would so love to do that, but there is that uncertainty and fear of rejection.
    I would love help in getting started, taking that first step.

  204. DeAnna Boling

    My heart swelled from today’s message. I all too well related to this story. I want so much to find a ministry to share my heart and my love for Christ with others but mostly just to love others. What a wonderful way to do so. It seems we always think we have to have a plan, an organized schedule or curriculum to follow but it simply just comes down to sharing with each other and understanding and loving. If we all opened our homes and our hearts to our neighbors like this, our world would be such a better place and we would be better for it.

  205. pat campbell

    My husband and I moved to this small home last year. Johnny is retired, I’m a preschool teacher. God so picked this house for us, we wanted a smaller house, our sons friend wanted a larger house so we brought his and he brought ours! But when I started to pray, our Lord told me there were ladies in need of hearing about Jesus. So I told Him I would open this home for Him. There are 5 ladies, one Jewish, that do not attend a church, I am so afraid to invitie them to a bible study! I know this is satan, but I don’t know how to start one.I have prayed and can’t get started, this would be a blessing from our Father to me to have your wisdom on starting one. Thank you for all you do for the cause of Christ!!

  206. Kim

    My favorite book is Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels. It is really about that, just taking the steps to walk across a room, a soccer field, or like you, across the street and share your faith. I like this verse: Joshua 1:9 ~
    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” BUT it is easier said than done right?! I have an amazing group of women in my neighborhood, some know Christ, but many do not. I would love to win the Cafe Kit and give it a try! 🙂

  207. Stefanie Huber

    I am planning to do my first home Bible study ever this summer with some new friends from church and my BSF group, and I am terrified that it will be lame and uninspiring! I would love a kit like this!!!

  208. Bri

    My husband and I just moved to this neighborhood last June to help start a church. This is my first time living in a subdivision. It is a family oriented neighborhood that prides itself on tight-nitness…and these moms are craving authentic relationship. This would give me an even bigger jump start to doing a Bible study in my home!! Thanks for using your creativity for Christ!!

  209. Anne

    Your “giveaways” are so annoying ! All answers would be great! Why do you make them a competition ? Everyone deserves a “prize”!!!!! Ugh

    • Amy Lively

      Anne,I agree that every answer is great! I wish I could give a Cafe Kit and have a cup of coffee with each and every one of you. I am in years reading your responses and imagining your faces. His is using each woman’s honest answer to give me insight for my ministry and renewed compassion for all our neighbors.

  210. Beth

    Isn’t it great to see how God works! I have a dear friend that lives on the same neighborhood. Last week, we had a conversation about how we felt The Lord leading us to a neighborhood bible study.
    It’s awesome to know that this study is out there! This study sounds like a great place to start. No more excuses:)

  211. ashley morris

    This may be the encouragement I need to step out my front door and do something! I’ve considered bringing some neighbors some cookies for no reason at all. And I guess a part of me hopes to gain some new friendships. I am a stay at home mom with a 2 year old daughter. My husband will be gone for awhile to find work so winning this would be great!

  212. Heather

    I would love to win this and start with my neighbors to get to know them better and share God’s love and what all he has done in my life!

  213. Jennifer

    Wow love this devotion and it is so true! I have been thinking of starting a Bible study for awhile now for my neighbors and friends from my kids school, but too nervous to actually do it, this kit would help me to finally just do it! Thanks for your willingness to share!!

  214. Kristi

    What a wonderful, applicable way to show Christ’s love! I have been praying for God to open my eyes to His will. Ministering to women has been on my heart, and now the wisdom of neighbors is gelling right in.
    Thank you!

  215. Charlene Mitchell

    My husband and I are getting ready to move and begin a new church start in another city. This would be a great opportunity to get to know my neighbors and new church friends. Thank you for your consideration!

  216. Karen

    As scary as this is I would like to meet and get to know my neighbors and see some of them come to Christ.

  217. Shelly Rugnone

    We are new in the neighborhood just moved in a month ago. This would be a great way to meet the neighbors. But I do have to admit, I will probably be hesitant to do this! Eek kinda scary!

  218. Chrissy

    Awesome article and starting a bible study has been on my mind I think the kit would be an amazing tool. My neighbors would actually be parents from our local children’s hospital oncology department. My precious 4 year old son has cancer and we have gained such a heart for the others like us we r just thinking of a way to get it going.

    • Amy Lively

      Chrissy, I am so sorry about your son’s illness. May God bless you as you minister during your own time of need, and may He be glorified through your kindness!

  219. Jodi

    This is EXACTLY what has been on my heart. I’ve lived in my home for 10 years and although I know my neighbors, I don’t “know” my neighbors. I know I need to do this, but I don’t know how! This blog has been an answer to prayer and confirmation and encouragement I needs! Would love one of the giveaways to give me the extra nudge!

  220. Barb

    I would like to win this kit to jump start what I believe God is calling me to do~cultivate relationships based in Christ with women in my community. I also have a friend that would benefit from the kit.

  221. Krystal De Leeuw

    So my hubby of almost 20 years will be graduating from seminary next year and he keeps throwing out two words that scare the bejeebus out of me… CHURCH PLANT. Oh my!! My heart starts beating double time just putting all those letters together in the correct order! Every church I’ve attended since I started breathing air on this earth has been in existence long enough to have anniversaries. I don’t know anything about planting a church! I’m not even good a planting flowers! But I’m thinking if I start now. In my neighborhood. With people I’ve been waving to for 14 years. I might be a little more ready when that big day comes and hubby announces… “Start packing! We are moving to Detroit!”. Or whatever foreign place God takes us to. 🙂

  222. Jenn Larrabee

    Love this idea! My husband and I just bought a “new-to-us” home in a small town of 700. It’s the first time we’ll have close neighbors as we have only lived in the country. I am trying to work up the nerve to meet my neighbors when we move in, working ideas up in my mind. Maybe bring cookies and a note from us…I really would love to start a bible study with the ladies in the area, to make new friends since we are moving away from family 🙁 Thanks for the opportunity!

  223. Debbie Cardwell

    Amazing how scary it is to approach the people around us yet we can travel many miles on a mission trip. I love the idea of a ladies neighborhood Bible Study. I had a heart attach on April 11th and I have realized how short and precious life is. I am so grateful that my father is the great healer. I want to draw closer and get to know many more of my sisters in Christ!

  224. Lia Stene

    We are moving to a new house/neighborhood in our town in exactly 2 weeks. One of the reasons we are moving is the hope that we will find more neighbors who are believers and share our values. This kit would be a GREAT way for me to meet my new neighbors and share the Word…something that I have been steadily working on for the past few years, but still struggle with. I too hear the voices in my head saying “I don’t know enough, I’m not smart enough, they won’t want to hear what I have to say, people will think I am a “Jesus freak” (which, of course, I am, thanks be to God!) I have been praying continually that I will be open to God’s plan for me…including this new unknown neighborhood. He is putting me there for a reason and I can’t wait to see what He works in my life.

  225. Zonya

    I love the kit – what a great idea! There are many lost and hurting neighbors around us who could benefit from a home bible study. I think many would come to a home study vs. church (if they don’t normally go to church).

  226. Lakeisha

    I would LOVE to own this kit. The title today is so fitting for what I have been going through! This would be a great way to connect and share GOD’s word this summer. Thanks for the opportunity!

  227. Shannon

    Would love to gather the ladies on our street . A little scary but in a good way…many are going through some very hard times right now and I know it would be life giving to have a group that can love them through it.

  228. Susie D

    I would like to win this because its been hard to meet people since moving to this city.

  229. inger

    Well mine isn’t in the neighborhood, but it is at the office. This has been on my heart for a few weeks and I sent out an email to see who would be interested in attending a bible study group after work. I have some takers – so I’m excited. Just wanted to share this.

  230. stephanie

    Sounds so scary, yet so rewarding!

  231. Tracey

    This opportunity was presented to me recently and I have been putting it on the back burner because I am scared to death. I was watching The Bible mini series recently and as we watched, my 12 year old daughter asked questions that I couldn’t answer. I kept thinking, “I should know the answers to these questions” and I decided I needed to read my Bible more. The same night, my Aunt contacted me on FaceBook about leading a Bible Study in her home and asked for suggestions. I still have not found one but I believe it’s because I’m scared to step out of my comfort zone. Your blog has helped me realize that I need to face my fears. Thank you.

  232. Chastity Ray

    I live in the neighborhood I grew up in. There are new faces but mostly people just visit in church. I think this would be a great way to meet new people and being Jesus outta church and into our homes.

  233. Kimberly

    My son joined Little League Baseball this year and after receiving several emails from one of the league’s members asking one more time for money to support the town baseball program I decided to write this person a note reminding her that we had already paid our fundraising dues at registration and felt it unreasonable to continue asking for money. Thankfully I never got around to writing the letter because on opening day they introduced her to the parents. My jaw dropped. She is my neighbor. I never knew her name but recognized her from across the yard. Total conviction that I need to be doing more to reach my neighbors, starting with getting to know their names!

  234. Jamie

    I would LOVE to win one of these kits. My husband and I moved to Grand Rapids to plant a church. We bought our first house, had our 3rd (and now 4th son), and are really seeking to be intentional/missional with our neighbors. But truth be told, it terrifies me! I could really relate to your fears and anxieties. We became ‘block captains’ on our street and are active in our neighborhood assiciation. I think this kit would give me some necessary tools to take some of the relationships I’ve been trying to make and bring them deeper. I long to see true Gospel renewal in our neighborhood, a neighborhood where most believe the lie that all we need to do is be ‘good’ people. This kit would be really helpful in getting me started.

  235. BJ Gardner

    OMGoodness! I cannot believe I am even reading this! I have been wanting to do this for years, praying and asking God if it was just some crazy dream of mine or if He was truly laying it on my heart. I would love this kit but even if not, THANK YOU for posting this and sharing with us! God Bless you! :*)

  236. Tiffannie

    I have thought of this many times but keep backing out with all the insecure thoughts. I would love to start one in our town as there are none and many people travel outside of town for church. It could bring us all closer in faith – together. Maybe with the right tools I could get one started!

  237. Linda Keene

    Whew! God has been making me get out of my comfort zone here lately and I think this is another one of his promptings! I’d love to get to know my neighbors through God’s word. My next-door neighbors are all Christians and KNOW they would be all about having these studies with me, which would make me a little bit more comfortable. I really NEED to start this, whether I win this Neighborhood Kit or not. Please pray that I will have the courage to reach out! Thanks!

  238. Rebecca

    I would love to win this kit because honestly it’s easier to get people to come to your house than it is to come to your church. It’s more personal and comfortable for those that have never been “churched”. I absolutely LOVE this idea. I would love to get out and really get to know my nieghbors and share the gospel with them!

  239. Gina

    I would love to have this! It’s been on my heart to start a neighborhood bible study but I’ve told myself the same things! Your article is so encouraging!!!!

    • Linda Runnels

      I was meant to read your post this morning! This very “thing” has been on my heart for well over a year! ….. and yep! i’ve been afraid to walk across the street. I would be so thrilled to be the receipient of this give away!! It would be the catalyist to do what i know i need to do!!!

  240. Ann Musgrave

    I had to forward this post to my husband! This is why I love Lysa Terkeurst!!! The same thing is bothering me! Thank you! I have been very timid in this new church to have anyone even see the OUTSIDE of my house! And I want to be hospitable like the Bible teaches me to be. Thank you for this!

  241. Kathie

    This has been on my heart for sometime to engage the neighbors.

  242. Jodie

    Since we moved to a home that God dropped in our laps a few years ago. I’ve been able to reach out to the neighborhood kids and have brought several of them to VBS each summer. I’ve had a harder time reaching out to the moms. This may just be the push I need.

  243. Angie W.

    I am beginning to think this is something the Lord wants me to do and it is completely out of my comfort zone. Thank you for your encouraging words!

    • Erika

      I would love to step out of my comfort zone! (love is a strong word here) I need to step out of my comfort zone! I think it would be a blessing to those around me. I just feel like I would need some guidance as to what to share with them. I would love your kit if you haven’t already given it away!

  244. Emily Lawson

    I love how honest you are. I’ve been yearning to connect with women and love on those closest to me, but it scares the pants off me! I’m encouraged to hear there’s a difference between humiliation and humility, and that God calmed your heart throughout this process. I would love some tools to reach out and really love my neighbors… No more excuses!!!

  245. Melanie

    I’d love a kit. We have lived here longer than any other place and its time for me to get over my timidity and get out there! Power, love, self discipline!!

  246. Lorraine T

    Thank you for this post with the encouraging words and being so blunt & honest about your fears! I know there is still hope for me to reach out to my neighbors.

  247. Jennifer

    I teach youth, take VBS to community parks, and don’t like to admit my dreams of having a bible study for my apartment complex always ends with the fear of rejection. I am so thankful for your honesty and encouragement. Praying I will step out in faith to be God’s willing witness to those he has put in my path.

  248. Melissa Stacks

    My husband and I have felt the calling of the Lord for us to become bold in our testimony. This is the perfect way for me to start the conversation with the women in my community. Thank you for giving us a tool such as this to help us to get out of our comfort zones.

  249. Rebecca

    I have been wanting to step out of my comfort zone and start a Bible Study in my community. I live out in the middle of nowhere, but have scoped out the HUD building in my city. I would love a little help in getting this started!

  250. Billie

    Great challenge 🙂 God is so out of my box!

  251. Kristie Phillips

    My family and I made a big move from Oregon to California 8 months ago. We left family, wonderful church family and friends. I’ve been lonely and desperate to build new relationships, and often get sulky that no one reaches out. There are so many that feel the the same way, I’m sure of it, it is not about me. I’m the one who needs to reach out and be what was spoken over me…..a bridge builder. It would be a blessing to receive this gift <3

  252. Jennifer

    God is calling me to minister to my neighborhood.

  253. Krista

    I moved into a great apt complex about 6 months ago. Now that it’s warmer out, the neighbors are out and about. I’d love to start a Bible study with some women there. My upstairs neighbor is also a Christian (SO a God thing), she might want to lead it with me!

  254. Tami

    This is me jumping off of a cliff trusting that God will catch me in the waters below….I know God is calling me outside of my front door. I just hosted this last weekend an (in)RL webcast with my girlfriends. However God wants me to share him with the women on my street. It is hard living on a Army Post because most of us spouses are afraid of letting others in because we know we will be saying goodbye again. However, no excuses anymore from me…..I will open myself up and trust God to lead….would be great to get this starter kit…;)

    • Amy Lively

      Hi, Tami – just to encourage you, my mother-in-law lived on military bases in the early years of her marriage when she was very young. 63 years later (63 YEARS!!), she is still close friends with many of the women she met “back in the day.” They managed to stay connected with letters and long-distance phone calls. I love your attitude!

  255. Jennifer

    I am a deacon’s wife and have had it on my heart to get the other wives together and pray for our husbands and the huge commitment it is to be a deacon. Also, I’ve lead many bible studies but they have usually been about our own spiritual growth. I want to challenge the women to go deeper and to reach out to others. This kit would be a useful way to give the other ladies a vision, and a practical tool to use, to reach others in our community for Christ.

  256. Vanessa C.

    God has been working on my heart for a long time. I’ve been so insecure and so scared for many years. I felt God calling me to trust in Him. I have felt the that I need to share my faith and not keep it to myself. Has a mom and wife, I need to be an example. I live in a very dark sad neighborhood. I know that my neighborhood needs renewal. Thank you for this encouragement.

    Vanessa C.

  257. Debbie Beauchene

    Just last night in a prayer meeting I was on my face before the Lord repenting for how I’ve ignored the mission field out my front door, in my neighborhood. No surprise that He has provided an avenue for me to act on my prayers – what a double blessing if I would win one of the kits!

  258. Jenn Parker

    When she said she would rather go to africa then go across the street, I really related to that! Real life, real relationships are hard and messy and work. But SO, SO, SO worth it.

  259. Catheryn Kunz

    I live in an apartment building and even though my neighbors are right next to me I still don’t know them. Or hardly see them! It’s like everyone just makes a dash for their apartment and shuts the door. I think this is a great idea and even though I am definitely not comfortable or this idea makes me nervous, I feel like God is calling me to get to know my neighbors. I think they need Him just as much as I do!

  260. Linda Schaefer

    I, too, have many excuses for not starting a ministry in my home, but have had calling to do so for years. Lord help me overcome my fears and to realize the excuses do not come from your Holy Spirit – In Jesus Name

  261. Melissa

    I’ve had the same fears as Amy, and when I finally drowned them out by listening to Gods louder voice, I started one of Lysa’s studies in my home last month. I’d love to win the kit to try something new in the fall!

  262. Lisa Troyer

    I love Amy’s heart and look forward to meeting many new ‘Neighborhood Cafe Owners’ at our ICRS booth. 🙂

  263. Andria

    I have been studying community organizing this semester at school. As I work on completing my final projects this week, I have been contemplating the ways in which I can meet needs in my community. Organizing through one of these kits would allow me to combine the skills I have been learning about with the opportunity share the Good News. Pretty cool to read about this as I am taking a break from writing a paper to capstone my learning on organizing groups to meet a need…

  264. Wendy

    I live in a suburban area where most women are so “comfortable” they simply don’t need God. I was invited to a Bible study after moving here because no one in the group actually prayed or would pray out loud and they had heard that I did 🙂 I instantly developed a heart for teaching after I also learned these beautiful women had no idea what their Bible actually said. I now lead a group at church called REAL Mom’s but have felt called to use my gift of Evangelism more deliberately in my neighbor hood. God has given me great favor with many women here who do not know him and I would love nothing more than to join them on their faith walk and introduce them to a God who chases after and adores them!! What an inspiration this would be to my REAL Mom friends as well to pick up their cross and serve him in their own neighbor hoods! I promise to share all of my goodies with them if chosen 😉

    In Christ,

    • Wendy

      Where I live most women are so “comfortable” they simply don’t need God.I was invited to a Bible study because no on in the group would actually pray and they had heard I would.I instantly developed a heart for teaching as most did not know their Bible or Gods amazing character either. I lead a mom’s group at church but have felt called to use my gift of Evangelism in my neighborhood. God has blessed me with great favor in many of their eyes and I would love to introduce them to our God who loves them so much and passionately pursues them!

  265. Carole Geiger

    Love your courage, love this idea, and I know just what I have to do should I win the kit!

  266. Carole Geiger

    Love your courage, love this idea, and I know just what I have to do should I win the kit! Keep up the great work.

  267. Rebecca

    We bought our first house last year and haven’t met many of our neighbors yet. We have Jehova witness’s coming through our neighborhood on a regular basis. I think a neighborhood bible study would be a great way to get the truth out because Satan is certainly working hard to spread his lies.

  268. Michelle Smith

    Hi Lysa! I would LOVE to win a bible study starter kit for my neighbors in the very small town of 600 where I live. The Lord has me in a transitional period in my life, where He has been leading my heart to open up to others and my heart and His heart with them, all the while gaining wonderful new and growing current relationships as well. At my church they have started something called “Life Groups” and The Lord first spoke to my heart gently nudging me to join a group or start one, and your kit would open the door to all kinds of opportunities for Christ and strong faith building relationships. Looking forward to where God is taking me from here! Hugs and God Bless! Thanks for the great give away opportunity!!

  269. Amy Ward

    I’m happy you’re going to bless three people with the starter kits! I need to order mine for my neighborhood cafe for the summer! Yea!

  270. Carrie

    I love this blog post today. I am terrified to start a bible study on the reserve that I live on, but I know that this is something God is putting in my future. I also have many reasons not too, but Christ’s grace for me is enough reason to do it

  271. Jenny Crow

    Thank you for giving away the neighborhood kits! I live in a diverse neighborhood with families who speak several languages. I am meeting with two neighbors studying Unglued, and would love to have a tool that the Lord could use to reach out to the others!

  272. Patty in TX

    I’ve always wanted to start a study in my neighborhood. I’ve lived here 12 years and barely know anyone! I would love an excuse and a reason to clean my house a bit and invite women over. It is just me and my daughter so I don’t know why not! It would be wonderful to build community right here.

  273. Judy Pennington

    Good article!! I live in a very small town, but I have no car and am disabled so I can’t walk but a very short distance. 80% of my neighbors are Hispanic and don’t speak English. So I just use my Facebook page for my “ministry”. Every day when I do my Bible study, read my “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, and my “Our Daily Bread” book, I try to share a quote from one of them and a bible verse. Maybe my take on what the books had to say that day and a reference to a bible verse that fits that situation. I have over 500 friends and while I know I don’t reach all of them, there are many who read the post and “like” it or comment on it, and even share it on their pages. So this way I reach many more people than I could by simply visiting the 3 English speaking families on my block.

  274. Carla VanBockel

    I, too, feel like this is something that God has laid upon my heart. Starting a neighborhood bible study is a very scary thought to me. For me, it would not be just stepping out of my comfort zone… it would be taking a giant leap outside of it! However, this is something that I feel God has been prompting me to do since I started reading “Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breath” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. Anyway, I feel this article is something else that God has laid in my path to help me step out in faith. I would love this kit as a way to help me know where to start!

  275. Pamela Scott

    I actually have been thinking about doing this recently. My neighborhood has been terrorized by the the few that are doing drugs and causing problems. A few nights ago a man actually tried to break in our door as well as several of our neighbors’s doors. The footprints he left on our doors are also on our hearts as we are fearful. I really would like to create an environment that is not only safe but God inspired for the people in our neighborhood. Thank you so much for your encouraging words!!!

  276. Melissa Lobozzo

    I lead a few women’s groups and was excited to move into a new house and extend neighborly love. I printed cute invites and mailed them to 30 neighbors and I only received one call of interest. However, I did not give up….I was not going to cave to shyness, awkwardness, embarrassment…I was okay being the nerd on the block….so I waited another year and heard God tell me to have a neighborhood food drive for a needy family in our church. We made it a Cookies and Cocoa drop-off at our porch to bribe them with goodies for their offering. My home-schooled daughter drew the flyer and we joyfully passed each flyer attached with a bag of candy. The food drive-time arrived and the sweetest family showed up with a home-schooled girl the same age as my daughter. They were only one of three familie who participated, but God blessed our obedience and have us beautiful new friends that day. Now, maybe you can help me actually get the rest of the neighbors to show up ; )

    • Amy Lively

      Don’t ever give up, Melissa! It took the apostle Paul YEARS to develop relationships in some neighborhoods. In my own neighborhood, it’s taken years to really get to know some people. You are setting an enduring example of lovingkindness to your children.

  277. Bianca

    I would love to be Jesus in the flesh to my neighbors & even moms from my kids school, your kit would be a awesome help :-))

  278. Cheryl Wells

    I’m going through a heartbreaking divorce right now and all of the feelings of loneliness and loss of purpose that comes with it. I know that the only way I can make it through this is with God’s comforting presence. If I feel this way, there must be neighbors who have similar problems and are seeking God, too. Your kit would be a great way to help me reach out to them.

  279. Melissa Grindstaff

    I would love the opportunity for this, I feel like God has a purpose for me but I am yet to know what that is. I long to share God’s love and glory with everyone I meet. I am a sinner redeemed by God’s mercy and grace. I am not perfect, I fail everyday but I know who my life and heart belong to and my life hasn’t been the same since. I too worry about saying the wrong thing and not glorifying our Lord but it seems that every time the opportunity has afforded me, God has placed the words in my mouth like a well organized plan when I know it was far from it. To God be the glory and to whoever wins this package, may God lead and guide you to lead others to Him. God bless you all!

  280. Molly

    We’re about to move to a new state, brand new home and I’m just itching to see how God can use us and the home he’s given us to be hospitable!

  281. Linda McCamey

    Hi Lysa,

    I truly want to have a bible study in my home. I already have the study picked out. I am shut out by one reason after another. I know God will enable me because He has called me and the fields are white for harvest. Would love to have a new godly friendship, too.
    Sometimes we need a little confirmation we are on the right track.

    Thank you for all you do~

  282. LaLa

    I have tried several times to host Bible studies based on things in common, never have I thought about including “neighborhood” in commonalities. What a great idea! I’d love to win, to give it a go, to see who I might meet in loving my neighbor. Would it help me see beyond my own doorstep? Possibly!

  283. Stefanie montijo

    I would love to have this it would be awesome. It would really push me to share Jesus in my neighborhood.

  284. Nicci Ramirez

    For 4+ years now I have had this ever growing desire to start a ladies bible study with my neighbors. I have been able to find every excuse possible for not acting on the desire placed in my heart from our Father…..I don’t want to sit on this any longer…I would love to win and begin!

  285. Rachel

    I’ve been praying for God to use me as a vessel to spread the word of God. If I win a kit then that’s my sign I have to start now.

  286. Katrina

    Thought awhile back that a home Bible/book study would be fun! Just returned from conference where it was brought up, and re-lit that desire in me, and now here you are with it again today! Think there is something too this!

  287. Lori

    These kits look great! I have been thinking for a long time about having a Bible study in my home. I’ve been a little nervous but I know God wants me to serve Him in an area I am gifted in. This might just be the thing I am looking for.

  288. Kimberly

    The kit looks awesome. I have been wanting to do more in my neighborhood and I think this would be an answered prayer!

    Blessings to you.

  289. Paula

    When we first moved to our neighborhood there were no other families with young children. Now there are two moms nearby that seem very open to the gospel. This would be a great resource!

    Thanks! Paula

  290. Amy Tapp

    I have thought about doing a Neighborhood Bible Study on and off for a few years but have never taken the plunge. I would love to have some help with the organized kit to help get me started!

  291. Toni Miller

    I had never seen these before! I work with a group that does Curbside Ministry here in South Central Kentucky. We cater to the children in a low income area! The oms sit around and watch and we love on them too. I have been trying to think of something we can do to cater to the moms. This would be a great idea to get us started!

  292. Connie Bjorklund

    I’m a new Christian & feel that I’m not adequate to share Jesus with others because I have so much to learn. I can also relate to your story because I’m also scared to leave my comfort zone & think (if they ask questions, I won’t know the answer). This kit might help me move out of my comfort zone & help other women also.

  293. Tammi

    My husband took a job in a different city, and at first, the last thing I wanted to do was pack up my high school kids, and move 400 miles away. Who would be my friends? How would my boys adjust in high school? We said we would NEVER move in the middle of high school. But God was leading us to do what we said we would never do, and last month, he helped us find JUST the right home for us – which is a miracle Jesus story in and of itself. I have been praying for friends (a big trust issue for me, as of course my friends are the parents of the kids my boys grew up with, and we are leaving them all behind!) . . . and I am thinking after reading this blog that again, I am too focused on myself. Maybe there is someone on my soon to be new cul-de-sac that the Lord wants me to reach. Scary thinking . . . but it’s not about me . . .

  294. Lori Stilger

    Oh, I would SO love to win one of the kits! I’ve been feeling the tug to start a neighborhood Bible study, but not sure where to start, or how….

    Thank you SO much for the generous giveaway, your transarency in this post, and your encouragement. 🙂 Be BLESSED!

  295. Wanda Owen

    I would love a kit to start a Bible study in my neighborhood. Most of my neighbors don’t go to church but the ones that do, well you can’t tell they go. I feel God could use me to help other women.

  296. Davonne Parks

    I’m very intrigued by this idea! I am going to have to pray about it and discuss the possibility with my husband 🙂

  297. Tasha

    This would be a great way to include my kids in a family ministry.
    Having moved ourselves it is nice to made to feel welcome .

  298. Joyanne

    I teared up at the sentence “Sometimes it is hard to bring Jesus home…” I don’t want that to be the truth, but there are times when the lessons learned at church don’t quite make it past the church doors. I know I am not alone and would love the chance to encourage other moms and families in their struggles of everyday living, loving and guiding their families while still trying to meet with God. A gift like this set would truly make a difference. Thanks for the opportunity to share. Blessings!

  299. Michele Gilbert

    Oh, I’m pretty sure that post was for me! I would love to have this!

  300. Janet

    Thank you for your transparency and honesty. Your humor was a much needed refreshment to my soul!!! I have that same yellow dog and half eaten rawhides!!! I so enjoyed your lighthearted perspective after spewing on my children during an unfortunate unglued episode. Thank you!

  301. Tina

    I am the children’s minister in my church and spend much of my time serving within the walls. When I moved into my apartment my desire was to share Christ with those around me. However since moving in,besides inviting a few to church, fear and not being sure how to even get to know my neighbors, the result has been nothing more than desire. So I would like to win to see if this is the way God would have me reach out to my neighbors.

  302. Debi J Holliday

    A wonderful idea for me to use with my Jersey Shore neighbors:-) We are all still recovering from Superstorm Sandy and this is a great way to share REAL hope:-)

  303. Lerin

    I am a beginner in my walk with Jesus. I’m still trying to get to know him and my faith. I have been deligently praying for an accountability partner. My husband is not where I am currently in his faith so I feel pretty alone without someone to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. After reading this, maybe The Lord wants me to find my accountability partner and what a better way than to open myself and my home up to others who may be feeling the way I do. Thanks for the encouragement.

  304. Pam Needham

    Spreading God’s word has been on my heart for quite some time now. Being able to retire this year is giving me even more opportunities to not just go to church but to actually be the church. I teach missions in VBS and oversee our Operation Christmas Child Drop-off location but I know there is so much more work to be done. Being able to lead a neighborhood Bible study to equip more leaders for Christ would be such a blessing and I believe we would be amazed at how far our “neighborhoods” would reach by being the hands and feet of Christ. I would be most grateful to have the opportunity to utilize these materials this summer. Thanks for all you do for His kingdom!

  305. Niki Guthrie

    You have encouraged me again! This would be so awesome! I recently called some ladies together & treated them to some food and a special time just for them! Letting them know how much I appreciated them for what they do as women! Always there when there is a crisis, death, fundraiser or potlatch! Afterwards, we shared with one another about ourselves and God was glorified! I want to gather again; but don’t know if someone else is going to step forward. still waiting….

  306. Natalie

    I love this idea and would love to have a starter kit available. I’ve been looking for ways of being Christ to others from my home (I have a 9-month-old & do not want to commit to much away from home & compromise time with her during this season). Thanks for the inspiration!!

  307. Adrienne Terrebonne

    I would love to have this! We moved to this town a few months ago and haven’t yet met many of our neighbors. I’ve been wanting to start an in-home Bible study but I’m scared of rejection.

  308. Hope @ The Flourishing Tree

    Thanks for such an inspirational post! I’m one of two women in my neighborhood that doesn’t have children (there are 65+ children in our small neighborhood!). Because I’m not part of the carpool brigade, I’ve found it tough to get to know many of my neighbors, but this sounds like a wonderful way to invite them to my home and get to know them better and for all of us to get to know God better.

  309. michelle durst

    Would love this!!! We are part of the core launch team with a church in our community and it has been S.T.R.E.T.C.H.I.N.G. as it gets us (me) out of my comfortable church pew into a school building transformed each Sunday morning for worship & children’s minsitry. I live in a town of around 1200 and the “fields are ripe” but it feels like the workers are few, so any help/encouragement/labor we can get is Awesome! Thanks for the encouragement that my house is the right size and my food is okay and God’s message through me is enough! Amen:)

  310. LoveNevaFails

    Hi Amy!

    I was afraid to walk across the street! I did it about a week ago. I didn’t know what to do, I felt God wanted me to pray for my young neighbors marriage, and I did. They have a little boy who is two years old. I put a bag on their door (when I knew they weren’t home) with sing-a-long books. Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and a couple more. I left a little note too! I wrote, I hope….. enjoys the books, then I thought, did I call him the wrong name? hahaha I’m pretty sure I got it his name correct.
    I don’t talk to my neighbors much…umm, at all lol the reason being I was a care-giver from the time I was 18 until a few years ago, I was very busy with my family and not really social outside. My neighbors are about my age, almost all have children and are married and right now, I don’t know how to relate to them. another couple across the street I think go to church every Sunday…
    I’m getting much better at being social.

    Thank You for this post, it has encouraged me. 🙂

  311. Betsy Sajdak

    I don’t know if this is what God is calling me to do, but if I win, I am doing it!

  312. Mates ga Blanchard

    I was moved from New York to Georgia so God could work on things that were hindering my usefulness to Him in all my relationships. Since relocating last year God has laid a burden on my heart to reach out to pray for my neighbors and also to reach out to them and invite them into my space. I’ve come up with all the excuses in the world and have felt so I equipped to do such a thing and yet Burden has not been lifted from my heart. So for me this is another confirmation from God that I need to really reach out to others in my neighborhood and in boldness open up myself and my family so we can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. As God wills it so it will be because I’m striving to be an effective witness in the kingdom of God.

  313. Cathy Anderson

    What a wonderful way to reach & meet my neighbors! I’ve lived here a long time but don’t spend much time in the neighborhood. Great idea.

  314. Stephanie Stuckey

    I have been praying about moving out of my comfort zone. I know that is when The Lord moves! It has been on my heart for months to find an at home bible study to attend! I’ve thought of starting my hour but the fear of stepping out always stops me. It would be amazing if this was the starting guide I needed!

  315. Lisa King

    Thank you for the wonderful idea! I have been one that is always scared to cross the street. I am a single mom who works and I have not had the time to get to know my neighbors. This would be a great way to meet the neighbors and share the love that I have for my Lord.

  316. Linda

    I would love this opportunity to share Jesus with my neighbors, but of course, don’t feel knowledgable enough or know quite where to start. If this makes it easier for me to talk with them, I’ll do it!

  317. Kelli B.

    I am moving in a few weeks and have been thinking about the new neighbors we will have. I have heard there are several children around the neighborhood and so there should be moms too! I would like to get to know them and this kit sounds like it would be helpful in starting that process.

  318. Stephanie G

    I would love to win this neighborhood Bible Study kit. We moved into a new (to us) house in November and have met the neighbors, but have not developed any relationships yet. Thinking about hosting a home Bible Study makes me all kinds of nervous, but God has been really working on me to step out of my comfort zone. I actually helped lead two different women’s Bible studies at church this year- so not my comfort zone- but God is faithful and it was such a blessing. Maybe a neighborhood Bible Study is next for me?

  319. Ashley

    I am so ready to do this! How exciting. I am a stay at home mom and have just recently intentionally developed relationships with our neighbors! 2 of them having been willing to come to church with my family but I know as I get to know others my home would be a more relaxed less intimidating place to share the gospel and make disciples 🙂 I’ve been dreaming of a block party too!!

  320. Kirsten

    I would love to use this as a tool to reach out to my neighbors. I’ve used my young kids as an excuse to stay locked inside our house and our safe church groups, with very minimal effort to be part of our neighbors’ lives. I’d like to change that.

  321. Lauren

    I loved this posting! I am currently praying and pinning down a day and time to go door to door and invite neighbors to join in on a bible study at my house. But, when I began thinking about what I would say or what series I would do once they showed up, I got nervous! I am thankful that you have a kit! I will most certainly check it out! Blessings!

  322. Vicky D

    This is so outside of my comfort zone! But have really been feeling like I need o do something to meet and get to know my neighbors. This looks like a great product that walks you step by step on how to do that.

  323. Wendy Evans

    Dear Lysa,

    The reason I would like the Neighborhood Cafe’ Kits is because I am moving a week from today to a new area. My husband is a pastor and we lived 45 minutes away from the community he pastors in. We have finally been lead to move even though the economy is still not up to sell our house for a good price. We are trusting God to work out all things for our good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose. I believe this will be a perfect opportunity to get out in the community and get to know more people to witness to and invite to church. What a better way than to do a Bible study in our new home.

    God Bless,
    Wendy Evans

  324. Kirsten K.

    I don’t even have the words for how encouraging this is. I laughed at the “why can’t I go to Africa”–I’ve totally thought that!! Then I cried at the part about God’s faithfulness multiplying, because I so often forget that part!! I’ve been trying to reach out to my neighbors in various ways for a couple years now–having my kids be far less shy than I am has helped;), but I need to take that extra step that’s been on my heart!

  325. Donna Smith

    Good morning! I’ve been on your email list, read about the kit, considered the kit, thought about what neighbors would/could come- oh my, and I’m still having a grand convo with myself! Ha! I think the kit in my hand will put an exclamation mark and movement at the end of my own thoughts!!!! 🙂

  326. Elsabeth

    My husband and I are moving to a new area in order to plant a church. It would be a blessing to use these kits to kickstart some friendships and reach out with the gospel in our new community. 🙂

  327. Jackie Klase

    I have been looking for a neighborhood bible study, maybe it’s time I started one. Even though I am old in age (60) I feel like I am a baby Christian. I was saved 4 years ago and have been in as many bible studies as possible to learn His word ever since. Whomever the kits go to definitely will be God led. Thank you for sharing.

  328. Theresa Miles

    I feel some days like a “fringe” Christian. I want in…and am trying to find the entrance to the party! God is working in my life each day by dropping graham cracker crumbs (or chunks of carrots) to lead me closer to him. I am enjoying Lysa’s “Made to Crave” DVD series and today I watched session 1 and session 2. She said, “Check out my website”…so here I am today…and here you are with this very inspirational blog post. So, maybe God is speaking to me again. Only he knows what he has in store for me…I just need to slow down and listen! Blessings!

  329. Wendy

    This article was very encouraging. It started to stir up something in my spirit. I am a very shy person but I believe the Lord really wanted me to see this because I have been praying about how the Lord can use me!

  330. Joy

    God called us to move to another state and we packed up our home, well lives really, in 9 days and moved. No job, no home, no church. We have been here for 8 months still trusting in the call we answered. I long to feel more connected to other women and there is no better way than with Jesus. This neighborhood study kit sounds like just the thing I need. Thanks for your own personal honesty.

  331. Ljv

    We have a group of women who are currently going through the Multiply book by David Platt. We are praying about how God will lead each of us in making disciples. After reading this post, I went to the website to see the materials and it looks like a great starting point to reach women in our neighborhoods! Discipleship is about relationship & the neighborhood kits speak to that in a big way. What a wonderful way to build community and the Kingdom of God. Sent the info off to our group to pray over – we will be talking about it more tonight when we meet. Thanks for sharing on your blog Lysa!

  332. Landon G

    My husband and I have often talked about “who are the people in [our] neighborhood” and how we want to get to know them. But that’s just the problem – we just talk.

    When we lived on the military base, it was different. Everyone was always outside walking, talking, and living life together. Maybe that’s because we all had something in common – we were a true community, and it was awesome!

    My husband and I have often wondered why it’s so different “on the outside” of that military fence. We’ve even heard people say they like their neighborhood because everyone keeps to themselves. Why? My motto has always been the more, the merrier, and that goes with friends as well.

    I love community! Yet, ask me if I’ve gone beyond my driveway to get to know anyone beside my neighbors to the left and to the right? Looks like we’ve conformed to the “norm” as well. At any rate, this message was a great kick in the pants to remind me that we play a huge part in this scenario, and all it takes is a simple “hello” and “how are you?” Thanks for the reminder! LG

  333. Teresa Woolson

    I love your article! I have been wanting to start a Bible Study Group and your Kit would be so helpful and the nudge I need to DO IT!!! Thank you for the opportunity!

  334. Bonnie

    Well written!!! We live in a busy neighborhood in Los Angeles and although it is not unusual for neighbor ladies to stop by to visit and have prayer together, I have dreamed of a more official Bible Study with them one day on a regular basis. Maybe this would be what would get that started. “A wise woman builds her home” and I believe the best way to build our home is thru’ prayer and staying connected with the Father and honoring our husbands with fervent love. God is so good!

  335. Peggy Wengert

    Thank you so much for the timely topic. I was just asked to speak at a local church on ‘The Body of Christ/Our Christian Community’. I would love this kit to offer as a door prize to one of the lucky ladies attending Great Banquet in August.

  336. Renee Scott

    Your devotion spoke to me. It made tears well in my eyes. I long for opportunities to meet my neighbors but since we don’t really live close to each other (rural area, drive way is 1/2 a mile long itself) it’s even harder to find ways to reach out. I would love something like this where the ground work is laid before me! I loved your story.

  337. Lora Gorton

    I hope it’s not too late. I’ve been praying for a long time about doing this. I live in a manufactured home development that has many families that seem to have allot of problems. Often times I hear gun’s being fired and people yelling at each other often and police cars coming to break up fights. Plus small children abound in this enviornment. I have invited my neighbors over for lunch several times and have always thought that starting a ladies bible study/prayer groups would be good not only for my neighbors but myself. I’m in my 60’s my kids are all gone and at times I feel so isolated. Then the He reminds me that even though I’ve just been a stay-home mother and can’t seem to find anyone who wants to hire me I can use the gifts He has given me, my home and my garden and my love for Him and His word to share with others the love of Christ. So many people are hurting in my neighborhood and they need to know that God is with them and wants to help them no matter who they are. I daily need to hear that my sins are forgiven and that my savior walks with me through the good and bad times. I want to share this with my neighbors and their children. I want to tell everyone about Christ.

  338. Mary

    I have always been shy, and even though I am in a few activities at my church, even after two years of living here, I still can’t get over this feeling of inferiority that I have felt since I was young. God helps me deal with it every day. I struggle with the ‘comfort zone’ often. I believe this kit would help give me the extra boost I need to get out there and share God from my heart, to my neighbors’ hearts.
    Thank you for the opportunity to try. God Bless!

  339. Julie Weir

    I have had women on my heart lately and wondering what I could do to help all “us” women in the our daily lives. I think getting right sown to where women live will touch their hearts and open them to be receptive to the gospel. I would love to have a kit like this to help me jump in and out of my comfort zone.

  340. Megan

    Wow, I have been praying about this very topic for a while now. I am also fearful of being vulnerable, being rejected. My house is too messy, no one will want to come, we are all too busy, what about the kids, what about the husbands…etc, etc. I make up excuses and retreat rather than reaching out, and God is calling me to reach out to my neighbors.
    I would love a kit like this to help me obey His calling and love my neighbors!!

  341. Candace Riner

    My mother-in-law and I just began a Ruth Bible Study in her home and have invited women we know in our community. This is the second week we have met together and there are 11 ladies participating. This is outside our comfort area but know the Lord led us to do this home Bible study. We would like more information on how to do them better and reach out to women in our community. This article been an encouragement as we have uncertainties but we have faith and know that God is drawing women closer to Him through His holy Word. Thank you!

  342. Stephanie Hancock

    I am active in our church, but like Amy writes, I am scared to try to minister to a few of my neighbors (not active church-goers, etc.). This kit would enable me to get past my fears and invite these ladies over!

  343. Kathie

    Wow, this is something that God has laid on heart. Not only did I read Amy’s post today but
    the sermon on Sunday was about reaching out to people. I am afraid. I have no confidence in myself but I also know that God has called me to do this and He will provide all that i need to accomplish His goals.

  344. Dawn

    Love to use this as a way to reach moms.

  345. Sonya Greear

    This entire post is exactly how I feel !!! I would love to win this kit to help me reach out in my neighborhood!!!

  346. Ginger

    My hubby and I moved in September and this would be a great way to get together with our neighbors…

  347. Jen

    How timely! I led a group for a couple years, then moved suddenly last summer on a two-part move. We’re nearly there & I totally miss my fellowship over God’s Word. What an encouraging article to combat the “but I don’t know them” that runs through my head as I weigh a summer study…and I remember , I didn’t know the last group, either!! 😉

  348. Crystal

    I am an American living in Chile and this would be great to welcome my neighbors in 🙂

  349. Jeannie Roberson

    I’ve had a desire to start a women’s Bible study for over a year now. I’ve been praying that if it is God’s will, that He would show me the right study, time/day, people to invite, location, etc. I would love to win this package to give me a little direction!

  350. Mandy

    I moved clear across country and moved away from my family, church, friends, familiar area that I had always lived near. I was a total country girl always had been and now am a city girl. This could be a great way to connect to new women and I would love to gain new Biblical friends.

  351. Cindie Scott

    I have always wanted to hold a Bible study in my home but I never felt that I knew enough of the Bible or thought “what do I have that I could offer other women”? and the answer to that is Jesus. I know that he wants us to be a willing vessel, and I know that He will provide. I think that fear, although wrong, is the biggest issue keeping me from doing a Bible Study in my home. I have lived in my home for 15 years and only know my heighbor on one side of me by name. This needs to change, especially when God wants us to reach others aound us, and frankly who better to reach than our neighbors. All I have to do is take that step of faith, and God will do the rest. I would love to win this package to share with and make new friends in my neighborhood.

  352. Cindy Sparks

    I should never be surprised at God’s timing, but wow does it always take me by surprise. I hopped on to see if I could still watch the Unglued Summer Sanity Savers Webcast and first read yesterday’s post Afraid To Walk Across the Street. For weeks God keeps bringing me back to this heart wrenching subject. For the last 2 months God seems to guide me to these messages about reaching the lost in your own back yard. I often think and admire missionaries, yet I agree with Amy that it seems to take more guts to reach my own neighbors! I think it’s rejection I fear most….and messing up…possible harming the name of Christ.
    But today again….God is speaking & I am again moved in my spirit to do something. Thank you so much Lysa for encouraging us to seek God, then step out and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. I am praying today God gives me, and all the ladies stirred by this message the courage to continue to seek Him daily….then act upon the urging of our commission…to “Go ..into all the world” (including the lawn next to mine) and share the gospel. Wow…thank you!!! Have a beautiful week.

  353. Michelle S.

    What a great idea. Not only does the kit serve as a fantastic tool for a higher purpose, but it is adorable too! If you haven’t chosen a winner yet I’d like to put my name in the hat.

  354. Nancy

    Hi there! Good idea! We live such busy lives and we really don’t know who lives next door! A church called my husband as full time Pastor some months ago and we are still getting to know people and what a great way to get to know my neighbors! Blessings

  355. Amanda

    This kit would be such a blessing to win. I really feel that God has been putting it on my heart to start a Bible study, and winning this would be such a big help. Thank you!

  356. Libaray Momma

    I would love this, because I currently am in a bible study and we are new to our neighborhood!

  357. Library Momma

    I would love this because I currently am in a bible study and we are new to our neighborhood!

  358. Cindi

    This article caught my attention as I was deleting messages from my Inbox. I have been saying to my husband for the five years I’ve lived in our neighborhood, “I wish I knew my neighbors.” In the past year or so, we have become part of a Small Group in our very large church – a new experience that has provided so many blessings to each of us in the group. I would love to share that type of experience with my neighbors. Maybe this is the jumpstart I need. 🙂

  359. Katlyn

    I am scared to death if this but it sounds fantastic!!

  360. Brandy

    God’s timing is amazing! I went to our church’s annual women’s retreat just one month. Our guest speaker spent an entire session on reaching out to our neighbors and hospitality! Just yesterday (finally), I made a batch of cookies and took some to our neighbors. Gotta start somewhere, right?!
    I would like to win this kit- honestly, it would be God absolutely saying, “DO THIS!”
    Help me obey, Lord!

  361. Jeanine

    Wow, what timing for this post, God’s timing is always perfect. I’ve been talking to my husband for about 6 months now about starting a small group in our neighborhood for families. However we are introverted people and are very uncomfortable with this and had the exact same hesitation, AKA excuses, so we decided we would wait until summer when were not quite so busy. We’ll summer is upon us and I’ve already started thinking of more reasons to put this off.
    Thanks for the encouragement!

  362. melissa

    I would liek to win because, like you, i have always thought of ways to spread the Word in my neighborhood..but then at the end,…..lost my bearings! This would be awesome to win!!

  363. Alice

    I would like to win and start one of these in my neighborhood. We’ve been in our house a little over a year and we really don’t know any of our neighbors. I love meeting new people but the fear of rejection is a powerful fear that will stop me dead in my tracks just about every time. I need to seek and trust God that His ways are way better than mine and that if I will just trust Him he will give me what I need to do this. We all need Jesus in our homes, I know I do, and I believe that God as allowed things to happen in my life that I can share with the ladies of my neighborhood. If God brings you to it then He can bring you through it.

  364. Monique

    I am so glad i happened upon this post today. My husband is active duty military and since we moved on base God had been putting it on my heart to start a Bible study. I skirting around it for so long… I didn’t know anybody, I wasn’t “good” enough, I didn’t have time for that kind of responsibility with 2 toddlers at home, I even prayed for God to change His mind about this, etc. So instead of following what my heart and gut told me to do, I joined a woman’s group at the Chapel on base hoping that this would suffice… and I was strongly disappointed. Not that the women weren’t fantastic and welcoming and obviously Christian, but the fact that it was entirely funded by the government put a strain on the Greatness of joining together in His name. It was almost like they put God, my great and glorious God, in a box with rules on what you could and could not say! And so I posted on a base website asking what Bible studies other women went to that was close to base (once again skirting around what was truly on my heart) and got an amazing response that “someone” on base should start a home Bible study. AND so I got catapulted into what I had been dreading for months! (God sure knows what He wants doesn’t He?) I have had a great turn out and have made some amazing friends. It’s really nice to know that someone else out there is going through the same struggles, i thought I was the only one out there who’s like ‘Why me god?’ 🙂

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