Next Door As It Is In Heaven – Living Out God’s Kingdom In Your Neighborhood by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco, was a complete joy to read.
There was a time when neighborhoods were places of community, where you not only knew your neighbors names, but you knew their joys, and their sorrows, and more importantly you helped and loved your neighbor. I grew up in that kind of neighborhood, and I’m a better person for it. But the neighborhood “where everybody knows your name”, has become the neighborhood “where nobody knows your name.” Ford and Brisco shows us the way back to community and love for each other with basic principles and best practices.
Ford and Brisco remind us that Jesus has two primary commands for us, His followers, “Love God”, and “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Throughout the book Ford and Brisco give several ways that we can change our actions and our mindset. One of my favorites is Hangouts – The Importance Of Third Places.
Third Places are settings that are common ground, or “hangout.” Coffee Shops, Cafes, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, Barbershops, General Stores, and Bookstores. In the most basic sense, a third place is a public setting that hosts regular, voluntary, and informal gatherings of people. There are eight characteristics that are essential in the makeup of a typical third place.
- Neutral ground – people are free to come and go as they please.
- Acts as a leveler – a third place is an inclusive place. People from all walks of life gather.
- Conversation is the main activity – the talk is lively.
- Accessible and accommodating – can go there almost anytime and someone will be there and conveniently located.
- There are regulars – regulars set the tone of hospitality and regulars are attracted there because of the other customers.
- Low profile – as a physical structure, they are usually plain and unimpressive in appearances, but this adds to the essential need to linger.
- Mood is playful – the mood encourages people to stay longer and come back repeatedly.
- A home away from home – at their core, third places are where people feel at home.
He values his call as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, which requires him to live his life as a faithful neighbor on earth.
At the end of each chapter they have a little “Reflection and Preparation” section which helps the reader fully absorb and help put into action what they have just read.
This is by far one of the best books I have ever read, and I believe, has the power to transform our world one neighborhood at a time.
Here is a “Declaration of Interdependence” that your neighborhood can use. declarationcertificate_nocrops_x1a
I highly recommend Next Door As It Is In Heaven. 5 out of 5 stars.
You can read an excerpt HERE
Next Door As It Is In Heaven is available on Amazon.
I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes. I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.
Have a blessed day, Jay