Neighboring: Loving Your Neighbor

The Gospel and Loving Our Neighbors

While sitting in a local coffee shop enjoying a cup of espresso and reading for my upcoming theology seminars, a simple question struck me as I looked around the shop, and it simmered in my mind for days as I mulled over my answer. The question emerging was simple:...

Why Hospitality Is for All Christians

The Diverse Family of God Radically ordinary hospitality—those who live it—see strangers as neighbors and neighbors as family of God. They recoil at reducing a person to a category or a label. They see God’s image reflected in the eyes of every human being on earth....

10 Things You Should Know about Christian Hospitality

1. Hospitality reflects the gospel. Faithful Christians are—and have always been—a strange minority in a hostile world. Redeemed by Christ, we have lost our old lives—and with our lives, we have left behind the history, identity, and people who once claimed us....

5 Myths about Hospitality

Myth #1: Only people with the “gift” of hospitality are expected to practice it. Hospitality is...

Walking in God’s Prepared Place

Walking in God’s Prepared Place

My wife, Rebecca, and I had been living in an apartment we did not like, and we were ready to get out of there. The day we moved moving into that apartment, one of the neighboring apartments was making much commotion. A man and a woman were having a heated discussion...

I Was, and You…

I Was, and You…

As I have stated elsewhere, our church’s “mission statement”—which is simply our way of putting a biblical gospel mission into our own words—is: “Worshiping God and welcoming all, with gospel truth and neighbor love.” That fits well with this current Servants of Grace...

God Saves Neighborhoods

God Saves Neighborhoods

Jonah 3:4, 5, 10—“Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least...

Living Next Door to Urkel

Living Next Door to Urkel

My family, along with our missional community, has been devoted to being good neighbors in this overlooked neighborhood for the past three years. We’ve walked the streets, played with children on the playground, welcomed people to eat meals with us in the park, served...

The Gospel at Work

The Gospel at Work

Most Americans spend 40-60 hours each week at work, which averages out to 90,000 hours spent at work in one's lifetime.[i] Yet, many Americans are unhappy with their current job. Work is seen as something that is necessary in order to make a living and be able to do...

Loving by Listening and Why It Matters

Loving by Listening and Why It Matters

I’m in the presence of an oxygen-breathing, image-bearing, eternal soul, yet I struggle to focus on what he or she is saying. I wish it were as easy as putting away my phone or turning down the music, but it’s not that simple. Those things certainly help, but they...

Fostering Hospitality

Fostering Hospitality

In this series on being a neighbor, that is, on what it means to fulfill the second of the Great Commandments—“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39)—I want to look at what it means to be a neighbor to some of society’s most vulnerable people: orphans....

Hospitality and Entertaining Angels

Hospitality and Entertaining Angels

Hospitality and Entertaining Angels The week of the 9/11 terror attacks, I escaped from an abusive marriage.  I gathered up my three small children; my youngest son was not yet walking. We presented ourselves at the pastor’s office of a church I had visited exactly...

Headache Heartache and Kindness Blindness

Headache Heartache and Kindness Blindness

“The pain that gnaws me takes no rest …” (Job 30:17) “Weep with those who weep…Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Romans 12:15; Galatians 6:2) Headache Heartache I was a 30-year-old guy minding my own business. As pastor of 100 and father...

Neighbor Love

Neighbor Love

Being a good neighbor, or—to express it more biblically—“loving my neighbor” has taken on new meaning for me of late. Like Christians throughout Church history, I have long understood that Jesus defines “neighbor” as anyone that comes across our path with whatever...

Neighbor Evangelism

Neighbor Evangelism

Visible Witness Numerous texts identify a visible Christian lifestyle as a powerful evangelism tool. It is through what people see that they will take notice of who and Whose we are. It is by seeing our good works that people’s slander will be contradicted and their...

My Neighborly Church

My Neighborly Church

Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Something was clearly wrong when Jesse struggled to stand after one corporate worship service in March. She was out of breath,...

Our Miserably Tarnished Version of Hospitality

Our Miserably Tarnished Version of Hospitality

The church’s focus on bringing the world into the pulpit and pew has had its effect on the home and how we view hospitality. We have set our gaze to the world for our cue to exhibit a miserably tarnished version of hospitality. Like the church, we have become...

Sleeping with a Light On

Sleeping with a Light On

My five children don’t have to look past their bedroom doors to know who their neighbor is. He lives in the bunkbed above or she sleeps in the crib across the room. Sibling relationships provide one of our earliest opportunities to learn what it means to love one...