Just got a review copy of The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. This book has a remarkable story behind it. A few years ago, Jay and Dave gathered with the mayor of their town and several other pastors. The goal of the discussion was to discuss how churches could work together for the good of the city. Eventually, the mayor told them: “The majority of the issues that our community is facing would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just figure out a way to become a community of great neighbors” (19). Out of that discussion grew several city-transformation and neighboring movements that united churches around a common goal.
Jay and Dave ask a disturbing question: What if Jesus expected us to take him literally when we told us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:34-3)? Jesus did say this is the second greatest commandment, after all. Jay and Dave have written this book to help us actually obey Jesus. For many people, this will demand that they totally re-orient their lives. We are very good at ignoring our neighbors, but can we really say we love Jesus if we disobey him?
Jay and Dave challenge us: “The solutions to the problems in our neighborhoods aren’t ultimately found in the government, police or schools or in getting more people to church. The solutions lie with us. It’s within our power to become good neighbors, to care for the people around us and to be cared for by the people around us. There really is a different way to live, and we are finding that it is actually the best way to live” (22).
This is what 1LoveWake is all about (based here in the Triangle, NC). You can also check out the Art of Neighboring web-site, which has other great resources. You can find a nation-wide map which shows other people interested in being good neighbors, and you can enter your own information. Let’s fill up the map!