It may sound a little crazy, but your favorite fudge or Christmas cookie recipe may be the very tool you and your kids need to share your faith with others. The most effective faith sharing is often within the context of a relationship. Yet many of us are so busy, we don’t seem to have the time to even meet non Christians. Establishing a relationship with them seems an impossible dream. Enter fudge.
We have great relationships with a lot of our neighbors in a time when many don’t even know the names of those who live near them. One of the best things I ever started in our neighborhood, was making a few extra goodies at Christmas and giving them to our neighbors.
I know you are thinking Christmas is busy enough without adding one more thing to your list. The trick with neighbor relationship building that leads to faith sharing is you can keep it simple. In fact some years, I have gone really, really simple!
A recipe of fudge only takes a few minutes to make and can provide enough goodies for several families. Buy the inexpensive clear holiday themed treat bags at a craft store or big box retailer. You can even add a personal note if you are really industrious. The point is not what you give or even how much. It is the very act of caring enough to give that will open doors and hearts.
I will be honest. The first couple of years, we had one or two families who eyed us a little warily and I’m guessing the goodies went right in the trash. Over the years as we consistently made a point to touch their lives on a regular basis, many of these neighbors have become more like family. We have had numerous opportunities to share our faith with several of them.
So pull out that fudge recipe. This year I knew was going to be super crazy, so I actually made a batch of apple butter and canned it back in November. Many baked goods freeze well and can be baked when life is a little slower and pulled out during the holidays. Have your kids help you craft your goodies. Definitely, deliver them as a family and spend a couple of minutes catching up with every neighbor.
It may be a few weeks, months or even a few years before you actually share your faith with any of them, but you have begun opening doors that will give you those chances. The best part for me was watching the tradition catch on with other neighbors. We now have several families who spread cheer to each other throughout the holiday season which only adds to the closeness of the entire neighborhood. So get baking and let me know what happens!