Love Your Neighbor Well

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

To me, this is one of the most challenging and instructive passages in the whole Bible. But I would also say that it’s absolutely one of the most important. Maybe THE most important. Loving people is part of loving God. I think the two are completely connected to each other.

But it’s not always easy, right?

In our latest episode of the Southern Fried Girlfriends podcast, our guest walks us through some big ideas and small ways we can live out love wherever we are, right in our own communities.

Brooke Akins, Founder and Executive Director of LoveWell

Brooke is the founder and executive director of LoveWell, a community ministry focused on intentional neighboring.

A UGA alum and elementary school teacher by trade, Brooke felt called to community ministry and intentional neighboring in her early 20s. Her career in ministry began when she moved to Baltimore as part of a church plant called Gallery church. Gallery became like a family to her and inspired her to grow her passion for biblical hospitality by earning a Master of Divinity in Missions from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

After graduating, Brooke planted the seeds for LoveWell by moving into an apartment complex and teaching in a nearby school, where most of her neighbors and students were minorities and immigrants. Through her relationships with kids at the school, her home became the place to hang out, get a good hug, and maybe have some ice cream (ALWAYS with sprinkles). LoveWell’s first summer camps started in 2017 and it celebrated it’s official first birthday last week. Brooke now coordinates summer camps, afterschool programs, and discipleship groups through LoveWell.

Brooke has never met a book she couldn’t put down and loves to take personality tests (she’s an ISFJ and Enneagram 9, and Buzzfeed tells her she’s a Disney princess).

Throughout Brooke’s time in ministry, she’s had the opportunity to be a part of communities that have taught her about social justice issues, hospitality, and what it really means to be a neighbor. For her that means celebrating your stories, traditions and cultures and probably sharing meal or two. Brooke truly believes we’re all better together, there’s always more room, and that our arms and hearts should always be open in welcome to everyone.

Listen to Love Your Neighbor Well here or subscribe via iTunes,StitcherGoogle Play, and more by searching for Southern Fried Girlfriends Podcast on your favorite podcast app. Swing on over to The Southern Fried Girlfriends Facebook page to chat about this topic, get some other resources, and stay connected!

Recommended Resources:

  • When Helping Hurts, Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
  • Making Room, Christine Pohl
  • Love Undocumented, Sarah Quezada
  • Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall & Denver More
  • Preemptive Love, Jeremy Courtney
  • Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life, Robert Lupton
  • Follow Brooke’s work through LoveWell on FB, Twitter, and Insta as @belovewell

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