Love Your Neighbor Workshop

February 23, 2012
Neighborhood Initiative

Dallas speaks to a group of pastors and leaders in the San Fernando Valley on the topic of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Recorded on February 23, 2012, this was part of the beginning of The Neighborhood Initiative movement in Southern California. Dallas Willard was a long-time member of the Valley Vineyard Church. Associate Pastor Lynn Cory, a close friend, founded Neighborhood Initiative with a network of Southern California pastors. Dallas was glad to be invited to speak a local pastor's gathering about the importance of fulfilling Jesus' command to love our neighbors. 

Resources are available for pastors and leaders interested in implementing their own neighborhood initiative in their cities. Visit the Neighborhood Initiative website to learn more and start an initiative in your own neighborhood.

Resources

Love Your Neighbor Workshop

Join Dallas in the "Love Your Neighbor Workshop" as he dives deep into the practical application of one of Christianity's foundational commands. Dallas challenges traditional views and provides fresh insights on expanding the definition of 'neighbor,' integrating love with justice, and embracing compassion as a core component of community. Learn practical steps to effectively love those around you, redefine neighborly love in the modern context, and understand how discipleship and community within the church can transform the practice of loving your neighbor as yourself. This workshop offers an essential guide for anyone looking to live out their faith in a tangible, impactful way.

Love Your Neighbor Workshop

Highlights:

  • Practical Love: Dallas begins by acknowledging the overwhelming nature of the command to love your neighbor. He notes that as our world has expanded, so has our concept of who our neighbors are, making the command more daunting. Dallas emphasizes that identifying our neighbors is crucial for applying Jesus’ teachings in modern society.
  • Expanding the Definition of Neighbor: Dallas discusses the scriptural command to not only avoid vengeance and grudges but to actively love your neighbors as yourself, as stated in Leviticus 19. He links this to Jesus’ teachings, underscoring the inseparability of loving God and loving one’s neighbor. This integration, he argues, is essential to living out the ethics and theology of Jesus.
  • Justice Tempered with Love: He critiques modern approaches that attempt to practice justice without love, suggesting that such attempts fail to fulfill the true spirit of justice. Dallas argues that genuine justice can only arise from a foundation of love.
  • Role of Compassion: Dallas highlights the importance of compassion in the practice of loving neighbors. He describes compassion not just as an emotion but as a committed, actionable stance that is crucial for genuinely helping and understanding others.
  • Who is My Neighbor? He challenges the traditional notion that neighbors are merely those who live in physical proximity. Instead, Dallas encourages thinking of neighbors as those we choose to engage with meaningfully, regardless of physical closeness, reflecting Jesus' teachings to redefine neighborly love.
  • Highlights:

  • 1. Introduction to Practical Love: Dallas begins by acknowledging the overwhelming nature of the command to love your neighbor. He notes that as our world has expanded, so has our concept of who our neighbors are, making the command more daunting. Dallas emphasizes that identifying our neighbors is crucial for applying Jesus’ teachings in modern society.
  • 2. Expanding the Definition of Neighbor: Dallas discusses the scriptural command to not only avoid vengeance and grudges but to actively love your neighbors as yourself, as stated in Leviticus 19. He links this to Jesus’ teachings, underscoring the inseparability of loving God and loving one’s neighbor. This integration, he argues, is essential to living out the ethics and theology of Jesus.
  • 3. Justice Tempered with Love: He critiques modern approaches that attempt to practice justice without love, suggesting that such attempts fail to fulfill the true spirit of justice. Dallas argues that genuine justice can only arise from a foundation of love.
  • 4. Role of Compassion: Dallas highlights the importance of compassion in the practice of loving neighbors. He describes compassion not just as an emotion but as a committed, actionable stance that is crucial for genuinely helping and understanding others.
  • Who is My Neighbor? He challenges the traditional notion that neighbors are merely those who live in physical proximity. Instead, Dallas encourages thinking of neighbors as those we choose to engage with meaningfully, regardless of physical closeness, reflecting Jesus' teachings to redefine neighborly love.
  • Practical Steps to Neighborly Love: Dallas provides practical advice on beginning with loving actions towards neighbors. He stresses starting small, with perhaps just one person, and gradually expanding the circle of care. This approach, he says, helps build a sustainable practice of love that can grow over time.
  • Discipleship and Community: In concluding, Dallas ties the practice of loving neighbors back to the church’s role in fostering communities of love and discipleship. He emphasizes that such communities are essential for teaching and spreading the transformative power of love through practical, everyday actions.

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