The book The Art of Neighboring challenged me from the very first paragraph. It started with these questions:
“When Jesus was asked to reduce everything in the Bible into one command he said: Love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself. What if he meant that we should love our actual neighbors? You know, the people that live right next door?”
And it gets more uncomfortable from there.
In 2009 the authors, Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, met with 20 pastors in Denver, CO, to talk about serving the community. They invited a local mayor, Bob Frie, in on the conversation, and he challenged them to become “a community of great neighbors”. The Art of Neighboring is their story of how they met his challenge for Christ.
The book is not just a challenge to live like Jesus and love your neighbor, it is also a practical guide to truly getting to know your neighbor. It is not an evangelistic tool to teach your neighbor the gospel. Nor is it another program to add to all the other programs of the church. It is simply teaching you and me a new way of looking at the people who live in our neighborhoods.
I am excited that we will be starting a message series on “The Art of Neighboring” beginning this Sunday. We’ll have several copies of the book available for purchase for $10 at all three sites. But if you want to order it online, it is available on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle formats. You can also download it as an audio-book on Audible.com.