The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak

A book on how to be a good neighbor? Seriously? What next? A book on how to pour a bowl of cereal?

But we need it. As simple and intuitive Jesus's simple command: "love your neighbor as yourself" seems, there is a huge gap between us agreeing with it and us living it out. That has certainly been the case for us. Of the eight places my wife and I have lived in our sixteen years of marriage, four of those locations we were flat out bad neighbors -- completely absent, and only two of those locations I can say we've been good neighbors.

The Art of the Neighboring is worth its price alone for page 38, which is a simple exercise that reveals how little most of us really know about our neighbors. And if we don't know them, how can we love them?!

My wife and I have been convicted to the call to take seriously our call to neighbor well. This book served as an encouragement of what we've done and prodded me to continue moving forward. This has to be at the heart of what God is calling each of us into as our ministry. If our churches can be places that take our neighborhoods seriously and take seriously Jesus's call to love our neighbor, a tidal shift will hit our churches. I'm praying we can be part of that tidal movement.

The first three chapters of the book are strongest, and if you only have time for those 58 pages, at least read them. This is a book that's not going to bowl you over with its theological depth, but it will give you tools to move the love of God into concrete activity in your neighborhood. And we need a lot more of that.