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Episode Info: About Zach "I’m Zach J. Hoag, a church planter and missional minister from the least religious city in the least religious state in the U.S. – Burlington, Vermont. I wrote a book called Nothing but the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter, and I curate The Antioch Session, an initiative advancing Creative Christianity. Most importantly, I binge-watch cable TV dramas and play in the snow with my family." What is Gospel Neighboring? Gospel Neighboring cuts against the grain of the 'gospel-centered' branding (which tends to truncate 'the gospel' into penal substitutionary atonement) and calls the church back to the whole life of the gospel community --- to loving God and loving our neighbor. Zach's Favorite Gospel Neighboring Quote: "I'm not that interested in Christianity. But to be a Christian is to be made a participant in an ongoing history of God’s care of the world through the promise of the people of Israel, who we know as Jews, and the integration of Gentiles into that people through the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ.Our world is filled with God’s presence through people who do small things, the neighborly things, that help us discover what God’s peace is like.” - Stanley Hauerwas (See this 4-minute video of Hauerwas talking about what it means to be a Christian.) Important Lessons Learned in Gospel Neighboring Missional practitioners tend to fall into the trap of trying to 'build a thing' rather than trying to grow a community through loving and serving our neighbors. Failure is something that gives birth to real kingdom growth and impact. Be passionate about people, and keep the focus there, or else you'll be seen as driving an agenda---even if your desire is to see an authentic new church formed in your community. Action for the Next 24 Hours People will know us by our love, not our agenda. The most practical thing we can do is find someone truly local to us, and simply love them. Zach's Final Bit of Gospel Neighboring Wisdom "What the world needs now are signposts of what’s ahead, markers for the new world just around the corner. The world does not need heroes; the world does not need more messiah complexes. The world does not need Christians who want to ride in on a white horse to save the day. What the world needs are witnesses. Nothing more and nothing less. The earth needs people who can bear witness to the ways in which the world has already changed through the resurrection o
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