Multiplication Center

Becoming a City of Good Neighbors

March 18, 2010

by Eric Swanson

In January 2009, my good friend, Pastor Dave Runyon of Foothills Community Church in Arvada, Colorado, initiated a city transformation movement in the northwest quadrant of Denver. He began by individually meeting the key pastors in the northwest quadrant of Denver. The individual appointments with these key leaders led to a group meeting of around twenty pastors where they began meeting for prayer and planning “what it would look like for the churches in our area to come together toserve our community.”

To discover the needs of the city the group of pastors invited Arvada Mayor Bob Frie to address the pastors regarding his dream for the city, along with the issues that were hindering that dream from becoming a reality. Bob came with a grocery list of pervasive issues that we wanted to address, among which at-risk kids, elderly shut-ins, were dilapidated housing, and hunger. But before addressing these issues he said to the gathered pastors: “After thinking about all of these things, it occurred to me that what our city really needs are good neighbors….The majority of the issues our community is facing would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just become a community of people who are great neighbors.” To this statement one pastor responded: “Here we are asking the mayor what areas of the city are most in need, and he basically tells us that it would be great if we could just get our people to obey the second half of the Great Commandment.”

The twenty churches decided to “come together and with one voice challenge the people in their congregations to ‘Rediscover the Art of Neighboring.” Each church is taking the three weeks following Easter to preach through a common series of messages called “Building Blocks—Rediscovering the Art of Neighboring.”

Dave says, “In our quest to be good neighbors we ask ourselves, ‘If our family was to move out of the neighborhood, would our neighbors notice…would our neighbors care?’ We want to be a city full of neighbors that the community would miss.”

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