This is a book for people hungry for a different spirituality and a better world. It’s for those who are tired of being told discipleship merely means church membership, who are tired of needing to transform the world all alone. It’s a book for missional communities that need clarity about what God is doing because they long to participate. This is a book that speaks directly to my hunger to see myself and my community as God does. This is a book for readers hungry to accept Jesus’ invitation—“ Come and follow”— and to go wherever he leads, even if it means following him next door. Especially if it means following him next door!

Find the book here: The Gospel Next Door: Following Jesus Right Where You Are


The Gospel Next Door

As Christians, we pray for God’s kingdom to come “on earth as it in heaven.” But what does that even mean? Would we recognize God’s kingdom if it moved in next door?

Learn to see God’s work in your neighborhood, city, and the world—and learn how to join it. With stories from his own city of Houston, Texas, author Marty Troyer introduces a theology of place that empowers us to truly see the work of God where we live, work, and play. The Gospel Next Door unpacks the gospel through the lenses of following Jesus, making peace, and overcoming injustice. Those seeking to connect more deeply with the world that God so loved will find compelling stories and practical ideas for healing brokenness and imagining new life.

Stop reading the gospel as if it only pertained to the mission field and didn’t hold meaning for the place you live. Start living out the kingdom of God here and now.

Key Features:

  • Helps readers reimagine what the good news looks like in their neighborhoods
  • Uncovers the gospel’s power to transform brokenness in our spiritual lives and our communities
  • Explores contemporary issues through the lenses of Jesus, peace, and restorative justice



First let me start by stating I would give this book 5 stars and would recommend it to others. Here are a few reasons why:

Marty Troyer has done well at helping the reader redefine and reimagine what it means to join God in His mission of being formed by the Gospel message of Jesus and living this out in the world around us. Troyer uses many personal examples to illustrate how to do this in practical yet tangible ways. The reader is invited to imagine things differently: God, the gospel, the places we live, and our part in God’s restoration process. Troyer does well pointing to the life of Jesus as an example of the things God is passionate about. We often find that the things we value and hold dear are far off course from what God values. This requires a reorientation and re-imagining our lives to be shaped and conformed by Jesus’ life.

Troyer does well to give the reader a broader understanding and definition of love and peace (Shalom) and how these words are far more encompassing than what our modern cultural understanding of them are. For instance Troyer states: Shalom is what the world would look like if we were healthy spiritually, relationally, and in our interactions with creation. Troyer also writes about a “missional form of worship” and how this takes place with an overarching redefining of “worship” from the pictures our mind usually conjures up upon hearing this word.

I also enjoyed Troyer’s understanding of spiritual formation presented in his book. We tend to reduce spiritual formation to primarily a come and learn type of environment that focuses more on education than anything else. Missional Christians must resist the cultural inertia of learning about. Our new faith formation practices will center on learning to. Learning to love, learning to act for justice, learning to see our world as it is and can be. Troyer calls this type of learning environment “Faithwalking”:  Faithwalking is based on the belief that personal transformation happens through the integration of action and reflection, and almost always with others. Through a series of retreats, cohorts, and coaching, Faithwalking uses this same cycle of practice and reflection to form disciples in three core competencies of missional engagement— liberation, learning, and living.

Sometimes when we contemplate how to help others we can become overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. It becomes easy to get discouraged and ignore the mission we feel called to. Troyer does well to reinforce how steps in doing what we can in a situation can have an impact. In essence focusing on what God has called us to do to impact those around us and being faithful in doing so. Troyer also challenges the readers understanding of justice in a positive way to get the reader thinking beyond traditional forms of justice to restorative justice.



Marty Troyer is a husband and father and a pastor and writer in Houston, Texas, where he’s served at Houston Mennonite Church since 2008. He loves preaching and working to make God’s kingdom come “on earth as it is in heaven.” His blog, The Peace Pastor, which emphasizes a gospel-centered Jesus ethic, has been hosted by the Houston Chronicle for more than two years. Troyer’s blog has led him to countless encounters across the city and nation about what it means to take Jesus’ call to peace seriously.
Find the book here: The Gospel Next Door: Following Jesus Right Where You Are


NOTE: I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.