Leaders go first. In order to launch neighboring in your church, pastors and church leaders must set the example by loving their neighbors as well. While no one really wants to volunteer more ministry after a full day of it, loving your neighbor has more to do with the pastor’s heart than with the neighbor’s receptiveness. Your neighbor is not a project. Your neighbor is someone God has put in your life to love. Sure, loving your neighbor is extending God’s grace, but it also means forsaking selfishness, laying aside business, and just being a regular neighbor.

As Bill Hybels says, “Speed of the leader, speed of the team.” As you tell your stories of neighboring, your congregation will become inspired and challenged to create neighboring stories of their own.

And, here’s the best part, when you love your neighbor, they just might love you back.