Spent the last week with The Neighboring Church: Getting Better at What Jesus Says Matters Most by Brian Mavis and Rick Rusaw. I read The Art of Neighboring in 2013 and frankly wasn’t sure another book on the subject was needed, but let me tell you…another book was needed and it was The Neighboring Church. I’m so glad this one got written! If The Art of Neighboring was a how to, The Neighboring Church was most definitely the why (with a solid twist of how 2.0.
Whether you read The Art of Neighboring already or not, there are several reasons to add The Neighboring Church to your reading list. First, it brings a powerful reminder that when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, he specifically talked about “loving your neighbor as yourself.” Can I ask you something? How’s that going?
Second, although the book focuses on the why and the what, there is a lot of how in it. It would be impossible to spend must time with it and not come away with a long list of great ideas to put to work. My copy is very marked up with things to remember and ideas to try.
Maybe the most important reason to be reading The Neighboring Church is that it makes a very compelling argument for a relational philosophy that I’m convinced will provide a mindset and a pathway to reaching well beyond the usual suspects and all the way into the crowd and community.
I remain convinced that as we enter the post-Christian or even pre-Christian era, we must learn how to neighbor well. We must learn to do what was once familiar and what no longer comes naturally. As “come with me” or “meet me” shifts ever more definitely to “come over” (to my house), only the latest adopters will hold out for a return to the 1950s when attending church was a normal (and even expected) thing to do.
How I wish you could see it. How I wish you could embrace it!
Reading The Neighboring Church will give you what you need to begin fanning the flame at your church. Passing it on to your senior pastor and other influencers will further stoke the fire.
I highly recommend The Neighboring Church. Read it at your own risk! But read it. You will thank me. Better yet, your community will thank you.