It’s likely that your schedule is already packed and that the idea of becoming a good neighbor might sound impractical or even scary at first. But we invite you to lean into those issues. If you do, we are confident that you will discover that Jesus really is a genius. And that his master plan actually works.

The solutions to the problems in our neighborhoods aren’t ultimately found in the government, police, or schools or in getting more people to go to church. The solutions lie with us. It’s within our power to become good neighbors, to care for the people around us and to be cared for by the people around us. There really is a different way to live, and we are finding that it is actually the best way to live.

Often it’s easy to take the teachings of Jesus and turn them into clichés. We’re tempted to dial into these slogans whenever we’re in crisis. But experience shows us that the slogans alone leave us hollow. So what would it look like to take the teachings of Jesus seriously and orient our daily lives around them? Let’s be honest—we need to do a whole lot more than stick a fish symbol on the back of our car.

Pathak, Jay, and Dave Runyon. 2012. The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Check out the new Bible Study, Love Your Neighbor. It is available on Amazon, as well as part of the Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service. (Like Netflix for Bible lessons.)