Some years ago, I read of an occasion in which the mayor of Denver, Colorado, was invited to share at a pastors’ gathering on the ways Denver churches could work together to serve their city. At this gathering, the mayor mentioned, “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."
Now there's an idea! The mayor invited a room full of church leaders to encourage their flocks to simply put into practice the second half of the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). It makes me wonder: What would the Ukiah Valley look like if we simply resolved to be good neighbors?
Here’s a fantastic resolution for 2022: Ask the Lord to transform you into a better neighbor, starting with your actual neighbors—those who live across, behind, and next to you. Introduce yourself. Ask them what their names are. Invite them over for a meal. Who knows what the Lord might do through this? But it’s a worthy pursuit!
For further reading on this topic, here are some recommended resources:
Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right outside Your Door (Baker Books, 2012).
Lance Ford and Brad Brisco, Next Door as It Is in Heaven: Living Out God's Kingdom in Your Neighborhood (NavPress, 2016).
Tim Chester, A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table (Crossway, 2011).