Intentional: Cookout with Neighbors
How can I be intentional about building deeper relationships with friends this summer? The flowers are all in bloom, the allergy season has passed, the temperature rises and grilling out seems to be the natural thing to do. This summer why not be intentional about building relationships with friends and neighbors. I’m not talking about trying to build more relationships with new people. Focus on the social circles your already run in…teams, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. Take one night a week or a couple of nights a month this summer and invite some friends over and use that deck, patio, pool, swing that you worked so hard to get.
Here’s three thoughts on being intentional:
1. Invites: who should you invite? I would start with a group of people who are my friends but may not know each other. Invite four or five couples and ask each one to bring their favorite dessert and drink. You can provide the main course to grill along chips or veggies.
2. Gas, plastic ware & decorations: Don’t forget to check the grill gas and have plenty of plastic ware on hand. Maybe decorate the backyard with colorful balloons, tiki torches, fresh-cut flowers or your favorite decor from Better Homes and Garden.
Ok, so all that sounds simple, I know. But this next step is what makes the evening intentional.
3. Ice breaker Questions: plan to have a couple of questions you would like for people to answer. My favorites are the ones that share something about the person’s childhood, home life, dreams and/or passions. Remember to sprinkle in spiritual language in your conversation.
Sample ice breaker questions: (not for cookouts only :-) )
-When you were a child, what was your favorite room in your house? Why?
-What would be your dream vacation and why?
-Who was your best friend growing up? What was unique about them?
-If you were rich, what do you think you would do with all your time?