Like A Good Neighbor - Growing Young Series 5 of 6

By Rori Blakeney

In late 2016, a team from Fuller Youth Institute published Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church. That book is accompanied by several free resources that can be accessed here.

Through their research, Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin identified six things that churches who engage in meaningful ministry with young people do well. This series will briefly identify each of the six strategies and share a story of a place in the United Methodist connection doing that strategy well.


Copywriters are some of the most creative people. They simplify a message so it sticks. Long after we have viewed or heard the commercial, we remember it. For example, State Farm’s mantra is “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is there.”

Growing Young reminds the church that its goal needs to be to “Neighbor Well.” But it is not an easy task because it requires us to raise question after question after question. Questions are difficult for the church and its leadership at times. But to “Neighbor Well” is to ask the questions.

With a trifecta of Scripture – Leviticus 19, Matthew 22 and Luke 10 – the authors insist that churches who are growing young dig deeper to find the answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” It is not a rhetorical question, but a conversation starter as individuals seek to know their communities in an authentic and transformative manner. It requires moving beyond the surface to listening to those you encounter, observing the ritual of the community life and most importantly, moving outside the church’s walls. Read more