Next Door As It Is In Heaven {Book Review}

Next Door As It Is In Heaven:
Living Out God's Kingdom in Your Neighborhood
By Lance Ford + Brad Brisco

About the book:
There was a time when neighbors knew each other’s names, when small children and the old and infirm alike had more than their families looking out for them. There was a time when our neighborhoods were our closest communities.
No more. Neighborhoods have become the place where nobody knows your name. Into this neighborhood crisis the words of Jesus still ring true: Second only to the command to love God is the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
In Next Door as It Is in Heaven, Lance Ford and Brad Brisco offer first principles and best practices to make our neighborhoods into places where compassion and care are once again part of the culture, where good news is once again more than words, and where the love of God can be once again rooted and established.
I’m fortunate to have grown up in the neighborhood that I did. I knew the names of all my neighbors, spent hours playing in their yards, were scolded by them a time or two and we all genuinely knew they cared.

I owe a lot to my neighborhood. Not only did my neighbors watch out for my welfare and tell my parents when I was up to no good {even my bus driver, and close neighbor, would call my parents and tell them if I was misbehaving}, my neighborhood had a lot to do with forming my personal identity.

What an amazing way to grow up!

In fact, I loved it so much that I've never left. And I'm raising my littles in the exact same neighborhood.

Sadly, many people will never get to experience a neighborhood like mine. Between privacy fences and no trespassing signs, it doesn't leave much room for community.

The premise for Next Door As It Is in Heaven is simple: we are disconnected in our modern age of so-called connectivity, yet being a good neighbor is at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus.  This book is all about empowering you to transform your neighborhood for the glory of God. It provides motivation and Biblical reasoning on the why's and how to's of hospitality. 

The most exciting section of the book for me was on hospitality, the importance of eating together and the value of third spaces. The authors write: “We wrongly assume that one of the greatest needs in our lives is safety. But what we need most is connection and acceptance from other human beings” (99). This connection can be found as we share food and time with our neighbors, and especially as we seek to meet the needs of those who can’t return the dinner invitation. Our neighborliness can actually make the gospel enticing to those who aren’t part of the family of God.

It comes down to them Jesus through you.

This book is full of advice for overcoming fear, time management to create more time for neighboring, creating third places and cultivating bread communities.

Even if you’re an introvert, this book will inspire and encourage you to respond to your calling to be a messenger for Jesus.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.