The Art of Neighboring: Jesus' Call to Love Starts Right Outside Your Door  -     By: Jay Pathak, Dave Runyon
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The Art of Neighboring: Jesus' Call to Love Starts Right Outside Your Door

Jay Pathak / 2012 / Paperback

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You have hundreds of Facebook friends, but do you know the full name of your next-door neighbor? Examining the effects of our unprecedented mobility and our increasing isolationism, Pathak and Runyon help you make lasting personal connections by asking---and acting on---one question: What's the most loving thing I can do for my neighbors? Includes discussion questions. 208 pages, softcover from Baker.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Jay Pathak
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 080101459X
ISBN-13: 9780801014598
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Once upon a time, people knew their neighbors. They talked to them, had cook-outs with them, and went to church with them. In our time of unprecedented mobility and increasing isolationism, it's hard to make lasting connections with those who live right outside our front door. We have hundreds of "friends" through online social networking, but we often don't even know the full name of the person who lives right next door.

This unique and inspiring book asks the question: What is the most loving thing I can do for the people who live on my street or in my apartment building? Through compelling true stories of lives impacted, the authors show readers how to create genuine friendships with the people who live in closest proximity to them. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this book perfect for small groups or individual study.

Author Bio

Jay Pathak is the senior pastor of the Mile High Vineyard, located in a suburb northwest of Denver, Colorado. Prior to planting this church in 2001, he served at the Columbus Vineyard as a leader in its young-adult ministry, Joshua House, and as an intern to the senior pastor, Rich Nathan. Jay is a graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in philosophy and a graduate of the Vineyard Leadership Institute. He has spoken nationally and internationally for the Vineyard and other groups in both conference and classroom settings. Currently he serves on the National Board of Vineyard USA. Jay and his wife, Danielle, have two daughters.


Dave Runyon is the executive director of CityUnite, a non-profit organization that exists to help government, business, and faith-based leaders unite around common causes. He also works with the Denver Leadership Foundation in order to bring transformation to the city. Prior to founding CityUnite, Dave served as a pastor for nine years in the Denver area. In 2010 Dave led a neighboring movement that mobilized over 20 churches and 15,000 people in the Northwest Denver Metro area. He graduated from Colorado State University, where he studied history and secondary education. He speaks locally and nationally encouraging leaders to work together to serve the common good. Dave and his wife Lauren have four kids and do not plan to have more.

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  1. London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Valuable Resource
    February 20, 2013
    KStr
    London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a great reminder again of the greatest commandment that we've been given, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself". This is a must read for anyone wrestling with how to live with and among others in an intentional life-giving way.

    Thank you Dave and Jay for your insights and honesty about how difficult but how rewarding a life of intentional neighbouring can be. May we all seek to serve our neighbours well.
  2. Simpsonville, SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good Read. Don't Miss Out
    September 7, 2012
    Grace for Sinners
    Simpsonville, SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The Spirit was prodding and convicting my heart the entire time I was reading The Art of Neighboring. I have a confession: I know very few of my neighbors by name. I used to know my neighbors to my right twice over but both times those families moved. My oldest daughters plays with the new neighbor's little girl to the right but I haven't formally introduced myself to her parents. I know of some of the other neighbors but not real well. It's a shame. Jay & Dave make a compelling case that we should know them and be actively pursing relationships to a varying degree with them. They say,

    I also learned that the story of Jesus becomes evident whenever we connect with the people who live closest to us. Jesus said, "Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). The practice of neighboring creates incredible opportunities for us as believers to connect out stories to the stories of our neighbors and to God's story. (p. 10)

    They beginning with their stories. They invited their city officials to meet with a group of local pastors. These pastors wanted to know how they could impact their communities. The officials said the best help the churches could provide was by being good neighbors. Isolation reeks havoc in many neighbors and is attached to many social problems. So simple yet often neglected.

    It's important to note that they argue neighboring should not be seen as an evangelism method (p. 99). Otherwise, we are performing a bait and switch. Our neighbors will feel like we traded being nice for an opportunity to proselytize.

    However, Jay & Dave argue inevitably faith will come as life happens and we are connected with others. I have discovered over the last year or two that evangelism feels uncomfortable because we treat it like a three step sales process. Nobody likes that. But when we evangelize through witnessing to the work of the Spirit in our own lives it's natural and rarely will people deny your experience.

    The main rub is when those we have been neighboring with reject our gospeling. If neighboring is an evangelism tool then we stop pursing that relationship. But if it simply loving others unconditionally then we continue with the relationship.

    Jay and Dave then talk about the biblical commands for loving neighbor and root that in this simple art of neighboring. They also address many of our hesitations in doing so--time constraints, fear, etc.

    I have to say that both are fears of mine but their approach is balanced. They recognize that you cannot be intimate with every neighbor you have. They suggest being familiar with many of them and develop relationships with a few where there's a natural connection. They also recognize that we must set boundaries. Good neighboring doesn't mean we let people take advantage of our family. It means we are there for those who are in need and in conjunction we do not enable or do harm.

    The Art of Neighboring is for everyone. All of us have neighbors. All of us have been commanded to love our neighbors. You don't have to dedicate your life to your neighbors but you should be there when life happens to speak into their lives. Just like the Spirit made a tangible difference in your heart when you were born again, your neighborhood should be different because you are there. They also point out that in many cases you may find some of your neighbors are Christians which provides natural allies in supporting and serving the neighborhood.
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