About The Book

Following Christ isn’t supposed to be complicated. Jesus called his yoke “easy” for a reason. He said that there is nothing greater than “Love God and Love Neighbor.” But while many people agree with this, the beautiful simplicity of these commands has become obscured by a thousand other, lesser concerns. As a result, the Church and our world suffers.

Front Yard Mission is about recovering our calling to love our neighbors, full stop. It’s about moving out in love towards the people God has put in your path. It’s about embracing our identities as kingdom agents in the places we frequent most. It’s about building the essential rhythms of mission into our daily lives: Pray First. Love All. Invite Often. In a polarizing world that is increasingly distanced from institutional Christianity, the future health and impact of the Church hinges on how well we love our neighbors. We need every Christ follower to take up their calling as Front Yard Missionaries and to catalyze a love your neighbor movement, one house and one person at a time

 It’s about building the essential rhythms of mission into our daily lives:

Pray First. Love All.Invite Often

What’s inside

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PART ONE:

The Foundation of Front Yard Mission and Why It Matters

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PART TWO:

The Core Rhythms of Front Yard Mission

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PART THREE:

How To Embrace Your Front Yard Mission

CHAPTER ONE
LOVE GOD. LOVE NEIGHBOR. THE SIMPLE DNA OF FOLLOWING JESUS.

“To become a disciple means a decisive and irrevocable turning to both God and neighbor.” — David J. Bosch All Sandy was trying to do that night was host a simple Christmas Cookie party for her neighbors. Exchange some cookies, tell some stories, and enjoy the festive time of year. But the mood changed when they learned that Sandy’s new neighbor, a young mom in her 30s, had just had a stroke the day before.

Sobered by this news, they took up a collection to help pay for her medical expenses and the kids’ Christmas. A couple weeks later, this young mom had returned home but was facing a difficult recovery. She had partial paralysis and couldn’t do much of anything without assistance. She was learning to walk again. She also struggled emotionally as she wasn’t able to help her family, or work, or do any number of things that had previously filled her life.

Sandy continued to check in on her and offer help. She prayed for her and brought over a devotional book and they got talking. It turned out her neighbor had a Christian background, was actually a pastor’s daughter, but had largely wandered away from the faith. Her medical crisis had surfaced some old questions. She was asking where God was in all of this, and beginning to find some answers as she started reading the devotional book, and started streaming her father’s church services online.

For the next couple years, Sandy remained a faithful presence in her neighbor’s life, driving her to many doctors and physical therapy appointments. All the time Sandy spent driving her around led to many conversations about faith and life. Her neighbor came back to her Christian faith, and eventually so did the rest of her family.

Today this neighbor is doing much better and is able to be more independent. Likewise, Sandy’s relationship with her is stronger than ever. “I am still there a lot. I feel like part of the family. I help the kids with their online schooling. It brought us closer, talking about where God is in tough times. It’s also helped me to see God work in hard situations…I’m thankful to have been available, and I think God put all this together, starting with the cookie party to bring neighbors to the same place so we could respond.”

Sandy is a Front Yard Missionary. She lives her life with a holy expectancy and availability to love and serve those around her. When a need arises, she’s there. For her and other Christ followers, this is so ingrained that it comes naturally. But this doesn’t seem to come as naturally for many other Christians, at least in North America. We seem to have forgotten or even lost something at the absolute core of being a disciple: “Love your neighbor.”

When Jesus was asked to boil all the Scriptures (and thus all the Christian life) down to its essence, this was his reply:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV).

If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you’ve likely heard this statement many times. But we shouldn’t let our familiarity with these words obscure how brilliant and radical they are. Jesus is calling us to a full-hearted, fully-devoted, never-stopping love for both God and neighbor. This is what the Christian life is all about.

Love God. Love Neighbor.

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Do you want to make a difference in your community? This book is packed with strategies, practical ideas, and life-giving stories. Order now and become a catalyst for change.

The Front Yard Mission is a must-read for Christians who want to make an impact in their neighborhoods. I love the 3 daily rhythms that are outlined throughout the book and the emphasis on partnering with others to create community with those who live near you. Jonathan and Steve have lived out these principles in their own lives and speak from a place of personal experience. This book and the authors are the real deal!

 

Dave Runyon

Co-author of The Art of Neighboring

Our mission probably isn’t thousands of miles away in a remote jungle; more likely, it’s right next door. You’ve been placed on your street for a specific reason: to fulfill the calling God has on your life to use you right where you are for Kingdom purposes. Front Yard Mission has the potential to transform your neighborhood for Christ as you step out your front door in love. Packed with ideas, stories, and insights from God’s Word, this book inspires us to live life with a holy expectancy of what God will do through us as we serve our neighbors in love.

– Donna VanLiere

New York Times best-selling author

About the authors.

Jonathan Weibel has served in full time ministry for 33 years. First as a worship leader and youth pastor from 1989-2003 and then as a church planter from 2003-2020. Jonathan has planted 3 churches and has been on staff in large, medium and small churches for the last 3 decades. Jonathan and his wife Suzy have two adult daughters and 3 Bernese Mountain Dogs and started the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Central PA which has over 1000+ members. He currently serves as the director of Front Yard Mission.

Jonathan Weibel

Steve Lutz has served in vocational ministry for over 20 years. He has led in urban and suburban contexts and in both small church plants and large established churches. Steve became a leading national authority on college ministry after publishing two books on the topic of College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture (2011) and King of the Campus (2013), which led to extensive speaking, consulting, and coaching with leaders on four continents. Steve has been a church planter, started several ministries within churches, and generally gravitates to the innovative and entrepreneurial side of ministry. He currently serves as a consultant with Bartel & Bartel, Ltd. and helps lead the Front Yard Mission initiative.

Steve Lutz

Front Yard Mission

How to Start a Love God, Love Neighbor, Movement in Your Neighborhood