If you live somewhere and have an interest in that somewhere, then you should read this short book! Tony Cook and Don Everts offer six short sessions to help you and your church or community group pursue the common good right where you live.
Through easy to read content and short testimonial and instructional videos, you will learn to take concrete steps to seeking the common good for your neighborhood. The Hopeful Neighborhood approach focuses on
- possibilities over deficits,
- discovering and sharing individual gifts,
- valuing your neighborhood’s uniqueness,
- measuring your communities health
- imagining possibilities for collaboration
- creating a plan and putting it into action
The Hopeful Neighborhood Field Guide is a companion book to The Hopeful Neighborhood which includes research from the Barna Group and Lutheran Hour Ministries along with many examples of what happens when the Church and community join together for the common good. Through the sessions in the Field Guide, Hopeful Neighborhood guides you through three steps: Discover the Gifts, Imagine the Possibilities, and Pursue the Common Good. You can also join the Hopeful Neighborhood Network to learn from and with others around the country.
You can also join a Hopeful Neighborhood Book Club to meet with other faith leaders around the world to join in a virtually facilitated discussion on pursuing the common good in your neighborhood. There are upcoming one-time discussion or a 6-week discussion sessions starting in May.
Although I’ve read the Field Guide, I have not actually gone through the steps in my neighborhood. It was challenging, though, as I read to think through the questions and tasks using my own neighborhood and realized how little I do know about it. What are some of the individual gifts of my neighbors? I know Fred is extremely generous with his time and his tools; Sylvia is a very hard worker and DIY expert in home maintenance; Karen is a passionate social justice advocate. But what about the others? I can name some of the neighborhood gifts too but am now challenged to keep my eyes open to those, as well as to get to know my immediate neighbors in a new way!
What about you? Are you committed to pursuing the common good in your neighborhood? Do you know where to start? How well do you know your neighbors and your neighborhood? Tools like The Hopeful Neighborhood Field Guide can help us work together to build a Gospel-centered common good that we all so desire!