Ted and Laura Davenport have steadily been getting to know their neighbors for years, but they decided it was time to know them better.
For the better part of a decade, the couple coordinated the yearly National Night Out on their street, walking door to door and personally inviting their neighbors to join them. Although they made surface friendships and a few connections, the couple knew a once-a-year event wasn’t enough to really invest in the people living around them. So they started “2nd Tuesday” in their front yard.
“We have been doing 2nd Tuesday for about six months now,” Ted said. “We’ve had as many as 16 people show up and as few as four. We tell them to bring a lawn chair and snack to share. The first few meetings, we just spent time going around the circle introducing ourselves and saying what we liked about the neighborhood. I try to have some kind of question or two for us to get to know each other a little better.”
Ted and Laura’s neighborhood is composed of a unique mixture of people, including Christians and non-Christians. Even with a wide range of lifestyles and beliefs on their street, the Davenports see a community forming. “I think we’re moving in the right direction and things are better and closer…” Ted said. “God has given me a stronger appreciation and love for neighbors who are far from Him.”
“There are many people out there who are not resistant to meeting or getting to know you. They just have to be asked to join in.”
Although building a closer community of neighbors has been a “work in progress” for the Davenports, they are ready to welcome their neighbors into the citywide conversation of Love Where You Live. “I’m confident that our engagement with our neighbors has established enough credibility and trust that they’ll be much more open to our invitation to join us,” Ted said.
The process of getting to know neighbors may seem intimidating at first, but Ted and Laura have confidently set the example of stepping out in faith to love those around them. “There are many people out there who are not resistant to meeting or getting to know you. They just have to be asked to join in,” Ted said. “You’ll be surprised at how many express interest. What’s the worst that could happen? They say, ‘I’m not interested’? Big deal! It’s worth the effort.