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The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  741 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
What if Jesus meant that we should love our actual neighbors?

When Jesus was asked to sum up everything into one command, he said to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most of us have turned this simple idea of loving our neighbors into a nice saying, putting it on bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets and then going on with our live
ebook, 208 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Baker Publishing Group
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I may actually give this book about 3.5 stars. I appreciated the kick in the kiester.

While the content was basically good and encouraging there were some pacing issues in the book that really kind of grated on my reading nerves. Also the over use of the term "lean in" -- I'm may or may not be a slightly jaded former full-time campus minister that is over buzz word ministry terms. Shoot me now. There are parts that are repetitive that could pare down the book a bit more making this an even more
Mar 24, 2013 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book is well intentioned and does have some good practical advice for reaching out and establishing relationships with others in your neighborhood. But, much of the advice is common sense and he is often repetitive in the presentation. The book is conversational in tone and uses a lot of words repetitively like "leaning in," "intentional," and "making an impact" The art of hospitality is something every church should foster both among it's members and in the community. The book consists main ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Carie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I skimmed through most of this book. I have recently moved and have a goal of belonging to a community. So, I really want to have good relations with my neighbors. Our one neighbor kept mentioning that they are both private people. However, their children kept coming over to our home to play so I chose to befriend the parents. After a few hurtful words from the mother, I realize that they are private people and I need to give them space. I took it very personally, but after reading this book, I ...more
Nov 09, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I put this book on hold because we've been having problems with one of our neighbors for over a year now. I was interested to see what this book would say about neighbors from a Christian perspective. The book is written by two pastors who were challenged by their community to put into practice Jesus's Great Commandment to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,' and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27) Th ...more
Jeff Elliott
Jun 02, 2015 Jeff Elliott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many reviews have suggested that this book is simplistic and common-sense; and they are right. But if that is true why aren't we doing these simple, common sense things?

A few quotes:
“From the city’s perspective, there isn’t a noticeable difference in how Christians and non-Christians neighbor in our community.”(p. 20)

while I was doing a decent job caring for a lot of people in my church, I wasn’t doing a good job of even remembering my neighbors’ names. (p. 24).

When Jesus was asked to reduce ev
Oct 13, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really, can we all please just stop verb-ing our nouns? "Being a neighbor" was good enough for Jesus and Mr. Rogers, and neither of them need improved upon.

This book is a lot - A LOT - of fluff and very little substance. It reads very much like the papers I throw together the night before they are due - take all the knowledge you're supposed to repeat, repeat it, switch it around, make it look like you digested it, get an A. Throw in key terms and buzz words. Repeat. You can fabricate the experi
Sep 07, 2012 Mathew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Overall a decent read and inspiring to get out there and meet your neighhors.

Faults: the narrator...while pronouncing words clearly, and almost all of the time correctly- is a pain to listen to. He brings the quality of the message down by his telephone operator pre recorded One.Word.At.A.Time type monotone droll narration. I actually had to dig out the cd case to see who read it because I SWORE it was one of those computer generated one word at a time things... where each word is recorded diffe
Jennifer Short
Dec 21, 2012 Jennifer Short rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Neighboring is a Christian book. That much is clear. However, I was impressed with its lack of "get to know your neighbors so you can tell them about Jesus" approach in this book. It's still mentioned, but author Jay Pathak discusses the difference between an ulterior motive and an ultimate motive and says our ultimate motive in all relationships is to share our faith.

This is a great read for anyone who has neighbors. (And that is the majority of us.) Gone are the days of going next
This is a one note book. The authors have a goal, which is a good one, but it is a simple goal and they chose to turn it into a book. The goal is to get people to become more neighborly. I think this is a very worthy idea. If people know their neighbors, then their neighborhood becomes a better place and if lots of people do this, communities become better places.

However, there is not much to say after you have convinced your readers that they should get to know their neighbors. I am grateful th
Laura S
Sep 25, 2015 Laura S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very practical writing on a very important topic. 2 stars because it is sold as a Christian book but lacks a strong scripture and Gospel basis (which does exist) to love your neighbors. Mentioning a few stories about Jesus and citing some verses out of context wasn't solid enough for me.
Seth Channell
Rating: 2.5 stars

This book serves as a reminder to love our neighbors by reaching out to our actual neighbors. The need for Christians to show hospitality to their non-Christians is great; it is almost a lost practice within my denomination. ("The Holy Huddle is the Devil's nectar.") So based on the thesis of the book I would rate the book at 4 stars.

My caution to recommending the book is two fold:
(1) I would want more emphasis on encouraging folks to actually share the gospel with their neighb
Nathan Schneider
Jan 16, 2015 Nathan Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
What would it look like if we took the words of Jesus in the Great Commandment seriously? That's what this book is all about. Very practical.
Zackey Wacky
Sep 30, 2015 Zackey Wacky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the 10 Commandments is that you should always "Love your Neighbor as yourself" but, what if god's intention was to ACTUALLY love your NEIGHBOR as yourself? Well, "The Art of Neighboring" expands that commandment, and takes it to a completely new level! As the title entails, The Art of Neighboring is all about neighboring, and is the perfect book for Nonfiction readers. The book walks readers through how to become a good neighbor in your neighborhood. The Authors give examples, and life st ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Cora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure whether to give this one 4 or 5 stars, 4 says I really liked it and 5 says it was amazing. I did really like because it is easy to read, fun, interesting, good, and makes sense. It was also amazing because the idea of it and the potential it has can really change the world for the better. This book gives both the why and the how - it explains why it is important to be a good neighbor and also has practical steps in how to become a good neighbor. It also shares stories of the good, ...more
Tamara Hill Murphy
I've had this book on my nightstand for a while and love that our church is reading it together this winter. The book was born out of a gathering of 20 Denver pastors in 2009. They invited the local mayor to join them and asked him this simple question: "How can we as churches best work together to serve our city?" At the end of a conversation including all the usual suspects of social problems cities face, the mayor surprised them with this summary:
"The majority of the issues that our community
Oct 14, 2014 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was helpful to think about practical ways to implement an obedience to "love your neighbor as yourself." On that issue, I strongly endorse this concept.

However, I disagree with the authors' conclusion, that the reason we should obey part 2 of the Great Commandment is because "it works" and will change the world. This pragmatic approach to obedience misses the other "Great" of Matthew's Gospel: The Great Commission.

The Great Commandment is to be obeyed for the sake of God's glory. The Grea
May 28, 2015 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rosaria Butterfield recommends this book as a practical guide for evangelism. She's right, it is very practical. I need to complain about it for a second, though:

There are two big problems with the book
1. It shoe-horns you into only one approach to neighboring. Everything centers on having block parties. Seriously. That's how to be a good neighbor; you throw a block party. The book comes across like a list of things to do to get to know your neighbors. For me, that makes the title a lie. By tell
Robert Vincent
The book gave insights on how to be a good neighbor and to make connections with those people around you. Basing their premise on the Great Commandment of Jesus focusing on the Second, to “love your neighbor as yourself” the authors attempted to show how that plays out in your relationship with the people living in the nearest eight homes around you. However, the advice given is very simple and intuitive. Much of what is suggested we already do. Making introductions, listening well, having block ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated this little book. Its message is simple and bolstered by Biblical supports, practical advice, and real-life examples. I'm encouraged to explore this concept and pursue deeper relationships with my neighbors.
Gregory Soderberg
Important reading for all Christians--you don't have to cross the ocean to be "radical" ... you might just need to cross your street!
Mike Becher
Jan 14, 2015 Mike Becher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book is challenging by it's sheer simplicity. It creates a solid case for doing things that should just be natural... get to know and care about your neighbors.

It's convicting to realize how private we have become. Our front porches have morphed into storage areas while our back decks are where we hang out now (you know, out of view from our pesky neighbors). We've removed ourselves from our neighbors to the point where it almost feels awkward to approach and connect with them now.

This book
Mar 21, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really important ideas here (if not obvious) about being a good neighbor. The authors challenge us as a test to 1) name the 8 neighbors who live closest 2) identity something about who they are 3) something deeper about their life/dreams etc. They give ideas about how to get to neighbors better, how to resolve conflict, and how to build community. I would have added joining the local neighborhood association because that has been huge in helping me get to know neighbors and finding ways to ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What if Jesus meant that we should love our actual neighbors?" This book has such a simple message that it'll be hard for me to forget it and make excuses for not loving my actual neighbors. I've been challenged and convicted to love my neighbors... I had to be confronted with the reality as I read this book that I don't even know who many of my neighbors are beyond a superficial "hi" and "good morning". Here's a quote that I keep chewing on in my brain:

"The Great Commandment (#1 Love the Lord
Geoff Lanotte
Confession: I did not finish this one. I stopped reading halfway through chapter 6.

I picked it up because I am a bit of an introvert and learning about how to be a good neighbor and the biblical foundation sounded interesting.

First the good. I feel like it started out very well and there were many quotable moments. I think my favorite line was:

If we don’t take Jesus’s command literally, then we turn the Great Commandment into nothing more than a metaphor. We have a metaphoric love for our metap
I loved the heart of this book. The authors encouraged readers to love their *actual* neighbors.

"Sometimes the term 'neighbor' is used in its broadest sense. We're called to love all people, everywhere. But it's easy to use this metaphorical definition of neighbor - the world - as our only definition. And if that definition is our default, it probably means that by trying to love many, we actually love very few. Therefore, we should start with our most obvious neighbors - the ones that live near
Gavin Breeden
Jan 22, 2013 Gavin Breeden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture, 2013-books
Very helpful book about loving the people who live next door and across the street. Sometimes the most awkward people to introduce ourselves to are those who live on our street. This book will give you the push needed to get out there. Written from a Christian perspective, these guys share lots of practical points about neighboring. It's all rooted in Jesus' teaching to love our neighbors, which is great. I can't say there was a ton of things in the book that hadn't occurred to me before, but it ...more
Dec 14, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended for those looking to make a difference in their community and live the great commandment (love god and love people). I was eager to read this book. I became familiar with Jay Pathak recently through his church podcast, and I'd seen this book mentioned in several other books and websites. The book has one central idea: be intentional in getting to know your neighbors and build friendships with them. That's it. Take Jesus' words literally to love your neighbor. The christian rea ...more
Doug Lautzenheiser
Pathak and Runyon write for Christians anxious to obey Jesus’s Great Commandment and help change the world. You start by loving God and your neighbors—literally the people who live next door.

Using the example of Jesus—in particular, his Great Commandment—along with scripture, the authors ask you to join them on a sacred journey based on a simple but effective Big Idea: become great neighbors.

Be warned: this particular journey never ends and may not be easy. You cannot turn your neighbors into a
Wesley Ellis
This book doesn't have much to it. That doesn't make it bad, in fact I think it could make a good conversation starter in the right context and it certainly wouldn't hurt if people followed the principles in this book.

Chapter 7 on motives is really the best and most substantial chapter in the book. There's some decent relational theology with an Evangelical bias. It seems to be assumed throughout the book that the reader has a suburban middle-class family with the means to throw block parties a
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Jay Pathak is the Senior Pastor of the Mile High Vineyard. Prior to planting our church in 2001, he served as a leader in the Columbus Vineyard’s young-adult ministry, Joshua House, and as an intern to the senior pastor, Rich Nathan, in Columbus, Ohio.

As the Senior Pastor of the MHV, Jay strategically guides the mission and vision of the church as a whole, is the main teaching pastor and provides
More about Jay Pathak...

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“What good things might happen if you truly got to know the people in your neighborhood and they got to know you?” 0 likes
“To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” 0 likes
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