#2: Map

Love Your Neighbor Challenge

When you visualize your neighborhood, Jesus’ ginormous command to love the whole, wide world becomes local again.


Your second challenge of the Love Your Neighbor Challenge is to draw a map of your neighborhood. This begs the question, “How can a piece of paper help me love my neighbor?” Before we answer that, let’s ask another age old question: “Who is my neighbor?”

In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus defined neighbor as anyone and everyone with whom we live or whom we have the chance to meet.

“I, on the other hand, had globalized the definition of neighbor to include everyone in the whole wide world, conveniently excluding the people who live right next door.
“Did Jesus want me to love the woman in my neighborhood, the one who could reject me? Right to my face?
“I would rather go to Africa than go across the street.”
How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird, page 32

Neighborhood Map

Draw a map of the homes closest to yours, next door and across the street and in your back yard.

If you live in an apartment, these are the units beside, above and below you. On a farm, these homes could be acres away. 

Now, get out there and fill in your neighbor’s names!

Zoom in on Christ’s #2 command with these tools:


  1. Google Maps, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest: If the satellite or street level view is available for your area, you can count each home in amazing detail. Check them all, because satellite images taken during different seasons reveal different details.
  2. White Pages: access your neighbors’ names and addresses instantly, including previous owners associated with an address.
  3. Your Local Government Website: Your county auditor or clerk of courts maintains detailed online property records.
  4. Bless Every Home: print your prayer list from Day 1, and plot the neighbors you know on a map
  5. Shoot, you’ve driven it countless times—just draw your own map. It doesn’t have to be to scale. Here’s a piece of graph paper to get started.


Now, let’s stick some pins in that map:

  • Fill in as many names as you know: first and last names, spouses and children
  • Fill in as many facts as you know: cars, pets, hobbies, careers
  • Fill in as many personal details as you know: their joys, fears, pains, passions or problems

If you don’t know your neighbor—if you don’t know where they spend their day and what keeps them up at night—then how will you know if they know Jesus?

My friends at the Art of Neighboring have truly mastered the map. Visit The Art of Neighboring to purchase the book or download a block map, block party kit, study resources and a vision for your city. They ask, “What if Jesus really meant that we should love our actual neighbors?”

Follow the Love Your Neighbor Challenge on Facebook or Instagram! 

If these tips and tools have given you a new idea, if you’ve met a new neighbor or thought about your neighbors in a different way, would you please let me know?

Contact me or message me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear your stories!

#1: Pray

#1: Pray

Of course, the first Love Your Neighbor Challenge begins with prayer - in fact, we couldn't call...

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