Are you tired of hearing people dismiss the church as an irrelevant relic? (Do you secretly wonder if they are right?) Don Everts explores an exciting reality that is revealed in Scripture, shown throughout history, and confirmed in the latest research: when Christians pursue the common good of the neighborhood, the world stands up and notices. It turns out this is exactly what we're called to do. When Christians make good things, we bring blessings and hope to our local community.
With original research from the Barna Group and Lutheran Hour Ministries on how Christians relate to our neighborhoods, this book is filled with constructive, practical ways that Christians and churches bless those around us. As Christians join together for the common good, we bring hope to the world, credibility to the church, and glory to God.
"This book does such a beautiful job of preparing us for life on mission with Jesus in the place where we live and with the people who live near us, in our neighborhoods. And my friend Don shares so much of his own journey—he's lived in thirty neighborhoods! And he lovingly, carefully, persuasively guides us through the barriers to engaging and loving our neighbors as Christ calls. I hope you gain as much from the journey as I have."
"What if you live where you live not because you got a good deal to purchase or rent but rather because God has intentionally placed you there to seek its common good? The Hopeful Neighborhood weaves together engaging stories, biblical insight, historical context, relevant research, and practical steps to help the reader participate in what God seeks to do in their community. Read and put this book into practice, and we will see the kingdom come in our neighborhoods as it is in heaven."
"The Hopeful Neighborhood is a critical read for anyone desiring to rebuild the social fabric of our communities. Change won't come from institutional leaders but from those on the street willing to do the hard work of listening, honoring our commonalities, and advancing good."
"The most accessible and the most promising mission field might be our neighborhood. Yet most Christians do not know their neighbors. Our individualism and consumerism have kept us isolated. In this third book in Everts's trilogy with Lutheran Hour Ministries and Barna Group, we get a very helpful picture of how we might embrace the common good of what is nearest to us. Everts brings us into lively discussion with Scripture and church history to offer a very promising picture of where we might engage in God's call to us."
"Put The Hopeful Neighborhood into practice, and you'll discover any grief you feel about the decline of the institutional church will be replaced by lively hope. In today's America, ringing church bells no longer compel most people to come to worship, but worshipers joining others to pursue the common good in their neighborhood creates opportunities to share the hope that is in us. Interestingly, the majority of God's Ten Commandments are about others, about seeking the common good of people. Don Everts invites us to see that old truth anew."
"Once again, Don Everts and the Barna team have partnered to create a book that enlightens and challenges. For a people who have been living 'above place,' The Hopeful Neighborhood is both an invitation and a guide to being rooted. It draws on Scripture, the history of the early church, current research, and real-life examples to illumine an alternative way of life for the common good. Your neighbors probably need this book . . . to be read by you!"
"Pastor Everts . . . explores in this useful survey ways to 'help Christians live in natural, normal, God-honoring ways. . . .' Those wishing for a deeper understanding of the values of modern Christians will find much to consider."
Foreword: David Kinaman
Introduction: Living Above Place
1. Pursue the Common Good: The Shared Work of All Humans
2. Use Every Gift: The Process of Blessing Your Neighborhood
3. Love Everyone Always: The Power of Grace in Tough Seasons
4. Give God Glory: The Joy of Promoting God's Brand
5. Join the Revolution: The Hope of Uniting Around the Common Good
Conclusion: This Little Patch of Ground
Appendix 1: Research Partners
Appendix 2: Research Methodology
Appendix 3: Definitions