“Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”
| First Corinthians 10.24, ESV
Put down your phone and pick up a book. Yes, I am a purist who still believes in turning actual pages. I’m showing my age in this digital world.
I know that they are bulky but evangelism, outreach, hospitality, neighboring (Yes, it’s word.), community- building is even heavier lifting. If we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, then we must, of course, begin with ourselves. The journey of love starts with us. If we are to reach out, we must first reach within ourselves.
I am on a mission to build beloved community, to cultivate and inspire those who want to build this kind of fellowship and practice this far- reaching faith. Together, we seek to inspire those who don’t just want to have community days but live in beloved community all the days of their life. But every change comes with not only a to- do list but a reading list. Here are a few that should help us along the way.
Douglas Avilesbernal, Welcoming Community: Diversity That Works, (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2016).
Ruth Haley Barton, Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014).
Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, Everyone Belongs to Christ: Discovering the Hidden Christ, (Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, 2015).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, (New York, NY: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1954).
Henry G. Brinton, The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality, (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 2012).
Jini Kilgore Cockroft, From Classism to Community: A Challenge for the Church, (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2016).
Marva J. Dawn, Truly the Community: Romans 12 and How to Be the Church, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992).
Curtis Paul DeYoung, Coming Together: The Bible’s Message in an Age of Diversity, (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1995).
Mike Graves, Table Talk: Rethinking Communion and Community, (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017.
Wayne Gordon & John M. Perkins, Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2013).
Craig C. Hill, Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus, (Grand Rapids, Mi: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016).
David Anderson Hooker, The Little Book of Transformative Community Conferencing, (New York, NY: Good Books, 2016).
David Janzen, The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus, (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2013).
Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice, Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008).
Grace Ji- Sun Kim & Jann Aldredge- Clanton, Editors, Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World, (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2017).
Martin Luther King, Jr., Where do we go from here? Chaos or Community, (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1968,1986).
Gary L. McIntosh & Alan McMahan, Being the Church in a Multi- Ethnic Community: why it matters and how it works, (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2012).
Brenda Salter McNeil, A Credible Witness: Reflections on Power, Evangelism and Race, (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2008).
Charles E. Moore, Editor, Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People, (Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, 2016).
Toni Morrison, The Origin of Others, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017).
Richard P. Olson, Side by Side: Being Christian in a Multifaith World, (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2018).
John Pavlovitz, A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community, (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 2017).
Christine D. Pohl, Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999).
Christine D. Pohl, Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain us, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012).
Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon, The Art of Neighboring: Building Relationships Right Outside Your Door, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012).
Rick Rusaw & Brian Mavis, The Neighboring Church: getting better at what Jesus said matters most, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016).
James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful Community: Following the Spirit, Extending Grace, Demonstrating Love, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010).
Kenneth L. Smith & Ira G. Zepp Jr., Search for the Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr., (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1998
Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness, (New York, NY: An Image Book, 1999).
Howard Zehr, The Little Book of Restorative Justice, (New York, NY: Good Books, 2015).