by Dave Pathak & Dave Runyon
"What would it be like to actually love our neighbors -- our actual neighbors, the people who live less than thirty feet from us?"
In their book, The Art of Neighboring, Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon ask the question and provide a practical roadmap for taking Jesus at his word, "to love our neighbors as ourselves." As the authors note,
"Good neighboring does not involve any huge complicated plan. It just involves taking small steps to move from stranger to acquaintance to relationship. . . . We believe that neighboring is the answer to solving the biggest social issues that exist in our communities today. It works better than any program, and it works better than any government initiative." (p. 180, 184).
I love The Art of Neighboring. It is so much more than a good idea or lofty theory. Here are five reasons to read it:
1. Radical simplicity -- The Art of Neighboring takes a concept that sounds simple enough and keeps it simple, while showing the life altering power of Jesus' words.
2. Practical tools -- The Art of Neighboring provides applicable tools that make engaging ones neighbors a joy and fantastic experience.
3. Baby steps -- The Art of Neighboring helps you see that you don't have to be a big deal to make a big splash. Anyone can do this.
4. Ultimate motives -- The Art of Neighboring draws a significant line between ulterior motives (loving one's neighbors to "win them to Jesus") an ultimate motives ("We don't love our neighbors to covert them; we love our neighbors because we are converted.")
5. Church friendly/Neighbor friendly -- The Art of Neighboringhelps churches (like the one I serve) to get serious about loving our neighbors as ourselves. It is a movement starter.