How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird
I met Amy Lively at She Speaks many years ago. She attended my session on “How to Start a Neighborhood Bible Study.” At the end of my teaching, Amy approached me, eyes gleaming, barely able to contain her enthusiasm. She explained how she felt that same nudge. She knew God was calling her to step out in faith … to invite. To do a new thing in her neighborhood.
Well, thank goodness Amy obeyed. Because the Lord has taken Amy’s passion, obedience and her very first invitation and transformed them into an amazing book, “How to Love Your Neighbor without Being Weird,” and an international ministry. To learn more about her book and her ministry, click here.
Today, Amy and I not only want to share a bit of her story with you, but we are praying that today’s message will encourage and equip YOU to step out in faith and do the same!
Amy has generously offered to give away a gift package to help you do just that! So in the comments below share who you would invite and/or how you would use her gift in your neighborhood.
Here is a bit more of Amy’s story …
Have you ever thought, “I want to love my neighbor, but I don’t know how”? How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird by Amy Lively is packed with practical, adaptable tips and tools for introverts or extroverts, and people who live in big cities or small villages. If you want to get rid of the guilt about disobeying Christ’s #2 command to love our neighbor but don’t want to alienate or offend your neighbors in the process, this book is for you.
Amy wasn’t always a good neighbor – in fact, she says she wasn’t always even a good believer. In Chapter One she tells her story of running from God for 20 years before natural relationships with godly women changed her spiritual destiny—and this happened outside of church, at coffee shops and playgrounds. Once Amy returned to the Lord, however, it was as if Jesus was locked inside her house! She lived in her neighborhood for seven years before she attempted to get to know her neighbors, and even this was done kicking and screaming. She fought the Lord for a long time before finally inviting 89 neighbors over for coffee. This gathering of women in homes became an international ministry called The Neighborhood Café, and this book was also an outcome of her experience in her own neighborhood.
You may be asking, “Isn’t it ‘loving my neighbor’ when I support world missions or witness to my hairdresser?” Yes, it is… but we have globalized the definition of neighbor to include everyone in the whole wide world, conveniently excluding the people who live right next door—the ones who can reject us. Jesus had a different way of loving His neighbor. He simply sat down with His neighbors at their tables, in their homes, and they did life together.
Loving our neighbor means investing in relationships – it’s sometimes messy, but it’s always meaningful.
If you’re struggling to build relationships with your neighbors based solely on religion, How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird teaches you six other areas where you can interact and engage with your neighbors: family, government, education, business, arts and entertainment, media. Along with religion, these seven areas have shaped every culture in every generation, and they are active forces in your community today. These areas impact the people living around you, and the influence of the Gospel is desperately needed in each area.
God knew what sociologists and archaeologists have also figured out: your entire community is safer, stronger, wealthier – and even lives longer! – when neighbors know each other’s names and are involved in each other’s lives. And on a spiritual level, loving our neighbors blesses us even more than it does them. You’ll never lean on God more or see Him more clearly than when you obey His #2 command.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win Amy’s BIG giveaway to help YOU invite your neighbors to get to know Jesus. Her BIG Giveaway includes:
- 2 MUGS Adorable “Love Your Neighbor” mugs, one for you, one for your neighbor!
- 10 CARDS to ask your neighbor over for coffee, board games, BBQ – you name it! Invite one neighbor or the whole block, whatever works.
- 2 COFFEES Single-serve Columbian coffees.
- 2 COASTERS to put under your steaming mugs.
- 1 BOOK A signed copy of Amy’s book, How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.
I’ll announce the winner Friday in my next blog post.