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Join Jesse Eubanks and the Love Thy Neighborhood staff as they walk you through this past year of ministry. Hear updates about the organization, new records for the podcast, big changes in our urban missions program and exciting new ways YOU can get involved!


A New Era: Discipleship & Missions For Modern Times

Note: The Love Thy Neighborhood podcast is made for the ear, and not the eye. We would encourage you to listen to the audio for the full emotional emphasis of this episode. The following transcription may contain errors. Please refer to the audio before quoting any content from this episode. 

AUDIO CLIPS: Love Thy Neighborhood… Discipleship and missions for modern times.

JESSE EUBANKS: Hey guys, it’s Jesse. So last year about this time, we released a podcast episode called “A New Vision: Saying Goodbye to the Old LTN.” And in that episode, we talked about the fact that our organization had a new vision and mission statement, and we did our very best to predict what the implications of that vision and mission were going to be. And I just have to be honest – it did not go the way that I thought that it was going to go. You know, when we wrapped up that episode, we really thought that we were stepping across a line and into the new era. It actually turns out that we stepped onto a runway, and that runway was way longer than we thought it was going to be. And so in today’s episode, we’re gonna talk a little bit about the good, the bad, and the unexpected of the last year and about how you can help.


JESSE EUBANKS: You’re listening to the Love Thy Neighborhood podcast. I’m Jesse Eubanks. Today’s episode – “A New Era: Discipleship and Missions For Modern Times.” Welcome to our corner of the urban universe.


JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so let’s start our time together today in an unexpected way. Let’s kick things off with a pop quiz. 

Okay – question number one. I want you to take 10 seconds to think of five sermons that changed your life. Go.

So, how many of you thought of five sermons? I doubt it was very many of you. And yes, I’m silently judging you. I actually didn’t get five sermons either. Now take 10 seconds to think of five people that have changed your life. Go.

Okay. How many of you got five people? I’m gonna guess that if I asked you to raise your hand that most of you would raise your hand. In Mark 12, we’re told, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” And that’s a way of saying this – relationships change lives. Those sermons that you were trying to think of, the books that you read, the jobs that you have – all of those things serve the relationships in your lives. And for us as a ministry, as Love Thy Neighborhood, that is at the core of the work that we do – our belief that the purpose of life is relationships. And so the question is for us as an organization – how have we played out that belief since we founded back in 2014? Well, let’s do a quick review of our story.

Okay, so 2014, Love Thy Neighborhood launches. And when we launched back in 2014, our goal was essentially to be the Peace Corps but with Bibles. We were gonna be a place for young adults to come and serve for both a summer or a year. 2017 – we launched the Love Thy Neighborhood podcast. And really – if we’re being honest – when we launched the podcast, it was really just a very expensive commercial for the program. It was our attempt to get young adults to come and to serve in the city. In 2018, we launched The EnneaCast, our podcast about the Enneagram and the gospel and personality and relationships. And again, it also existed for the purpose of trying to recruit young adults for our program. In 2019, however, the program reaches record highs. We had 52 young adults come and serve with us, and we had the opportunity to disciple them. But then in 2020, same as everywhere else, everything changed. The pandemic hit, and instantly our program numbers and our podcast listeners decreased significantly. In 2020 and ’21, colleges and conferences began canceling all of their events. And what that means is that for nearly two years LTN’s primary sources of recruitment for our programs were cut off. We had no way to get new young adults to come and serve with us. However, in the midst of that bad news where all those things were being canceled, in 2021 our year-long program participants suddenly reached a record high, and the deal was that a lot of college students did not want to pay a bunch of money to go to college and sit in their dorm rooms on computers. They wanted to do something in the real world, so they came to serve with us. And also in 2021, LTN – we adopted a new vision and mission statement. So in addition to the programs that we have for young adults, we began to make our podcasts and our workshops central to our vision and mission. And then in 2022 – this year – we made the hard decision to cancel both our fall and winter programs. The reality is that two years away from colleges and conferences – it dried up the applicant pool. And even those that did apply for the program, we just did not feel that we could give them the quality experience that we had promised them. But at the same time as making that hard decision, colleges and conferences resumed their events. In October and November alone this year, we had over a thousand new people join our mailing list, and we expect another thousand to join by the end of the year. Also this year, our podcasts broke all of our records. We actually had 87% annual growth compared to 2021. And finally, the other thing that happened this year is that our workshops led to some really surprising results. Our workshops began generating income for the ministry and led to some unexpected partnerships that we’ll talk about a little bit later. And so when I talk about the fact that relationships drive us as a ministry, what does that look like for our mission and our vision? Well, Love Thy Neighborhood’s mission is to disciple Christians to serve their neighbors, cultivate healthy relationships, and follow Jesus in their culture and context. Our vision is a community of relationally and culturally competent Christians who walk together in the life and the lifestyle of Jesus. And if that seems like a lot of words, let me say it in a more simple fashion – Love Thy Neighborhood provides podcasts, workshops, and programs to help people like you walk in the life and the lifestyle of Jesus. And so today we’re gonna talk a little bit about those podcasts, those workshops, and those programs and about how you can be a part of it.

So, first let’s talk about our podcast, and to talk about our podcast I’ve actually invited our podcast producer, Anna Tran, to join us. Hey, Anna.


JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so we talk a lot as an organization about trying to disciple people to help them walk in the life and the lifestyle of Jesus. In what ways are the podcast pursuing that?

ANNA TRAN: So we really just wanna answer this question – how can Christians become more culturally and relationally competent? 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, it’s like it’s baked into our vision and mission statement, like that’s part of it – relational competency and cultural competency. 

ANNA TRAN: Right. And the way that we do that is through our two podcasts, the Love Thy Neighborhood podcast and The EnneaCast.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so let’s talk a little bit first about the Love Thy Neighborhood podcast. 

ANNA TRAN: Yeah. So the Love Thy Neighborhood podcast, how we describe it is true stories to help you follow Jesus in modern culture. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. It’s like a movie for your ears. 

ANNA TRAN: Right. We care a lot about audio quality. We take a lot of time to pick the music, the sound effects, and at the end of the day we really wanna tell excellent stories about how Christians are following Jesus.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. It makes me think of like, I heard this recent quote – “If you want someone to know the truth, tell them. If you want someone to believe the truth, tell them a story.”

ANNA TRAN: Yeah, that’s so good. And when we’re finding stories for the LTN podcast, we are putting it through this filter. So we start with – first, what is the issue? Second, how is it impacting us? And then how are Christians wrestling with it, both in good ways and in bad ways? And at the end of the day, we want to find a better way forward. How does the gospel shape this issue so that we can look and live more like Jesus? 

JESSE EUBANKS: And so specifically, are there a couple episodes that stick out to you from this year that really sort of embody that?

ANNA TRAN: Yeah, lots of topics that we covered. One episode in particular comes to mind – episode number 53 – “Where the Gospel Meets Nationalism.” Rachel, our former producer, followed a story of a man named Ken Peters, who is the pastor of a church called Patriot Church. And so the episode, it really wrestles with this question – what does it look like to love both God and country? Is that possible? How are people wrestling with that question? So here’s just a clip of the episode about Ken’s story. 

RACHEL SZABO – NATIONALISM EPISODE CLIP: So Patriot Church has six core values on their website. Those are the word of God, the witness of the Spirit, the work of the church, the walk of holiness, the wellbeing of the family, and the winning of our nation.

JESSE EUBANKS – NATIONALISM EPISODE CLIP: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. What is the winning of our nation? 

RACHEL SZABO – NATIONALISM EPISODE CLIP: Yeah, I had the same question, so I asked Ken to explain that one a little bit. 

KEN PETERS – NATIONALISM EPISODE CLIP: The winning of our nation means the winning of it for God. So if I was gonna put a prepositional phrase onto that to define it better or to clarify, I would put “for God.” We, we don’t wanna, we don’t wanna just win. We’re not, we’re not trying to just beat the Russians or beat China or beat Mexico. We, we, we wanna win the nation for Jesus Christ. 

RACHEL SZABO – NATIONALISM EPISODE CLIP: And one of the ways that they do that is by being openly unapologetic about their politics. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, and I think that this is a great example of us just trying to understand how different Christians are thinking about these issues. You know, Pastor Ken in that clip – like he is sharing these ideas, and then we at Love Thy Neighborhood, like, we’re wrestling with – well, do we agree with him? Do we disagree with him? What is the right way to disagree? What is the right way to affirm it? How much of it do we agree with or not agree with?

ANNA TRAN: Right. 

JESSE EUBANKS: And so if you go and listen to that episode, you’ll hear us wrestling with exactly that tension between – “I wanna love the Lord, but what does it also mean to care about the country that I’m living in?” 

ANNA TRAN: Right. And in the rest of that episode, you also hear a different perspective of someone who disagrees with Ken, and we really wanna include both sides of the story when we’re producing these episodes.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so the first episode that came to mind for you was “Where the Gospel Meets Nationalism.” Is there another one? 

ANNA TRAN: Yeah. Episode number 56 – “Where the Gospel Meets Cancel Culture.” Cancel culture – another lightning rod issue all over social media. So in this episode, we actually follow a story of two people who come from very similar theological backgrounds. One thing leads to another, and they end up being at odds. So in the next clip, you’ll hear one side of that argument. The first voice that you’ll hear is from co-host Lachlan Coffey.

LACHLAN COFFEY – CANCEL CULTURE EPISODE CLIP: Okay, so now this has become a tale of two cancels. And I think you know the old saying, Jesse. 


LACHLAN COFFEY – CANCEL CULTURE EPISODE CLIP: Two cancels don’t make an un-cancel. (laugh) I think it’s an old adage. It’s a motto.

JESSE EUBANKS – CANCEL CULTURE EPISODE CLIP: Sure, sure, sure. And that’s the thing when it comes to cancel culture – canceling begets more canceling. There’s no end to it. You offend me, so I cancel you, which means you’re offended, so you cancel me back.

SHANE ANDERSON – CANCEL CULTURE EPISODE CLIP: She doesn’t engage her critics in any sort of, uh, responsible, respectful way. They criticize her, and then she instantly goes to “They’re a monster. They’re misogynistic. They’re, you know, they’re terrible.”

JESSE EUBANKS – CANCEL CULTURE EPISODE CLIP: In reality, we found evidence that Aimee did try to answer her critics. When she was part of that Facebook group, she responded by saying, quote, “I am not an egalitarian,” and quote, “I don’t appreciate being called a feminist as a conversation closer instead of engaging with such important issues.” She was actually removed from the group shortly after. But from Shane’s point of view, they didn’t do anything wrong by the comments that they made.

SHANE ANDERSON – CANCEL CULTURE EPISODE CLIP: And just because she could get all these spies to come in anonymously and clip little phrases together onto a PDF doesn’t mean that any of us disrespected her personhood on any level that was worth making a public matter.

JESSE EUBANKS: So we are trying to do stories about topics that all of us stand around and have conversations with each other about, but that oftentimes pulpits aren’t sure how to address them or they feel that they can’t address them. Yeah, I’m just trying to understand like, “How does the gospel inform these things?”

ANNA TRAN: Yeah, and we’ve covered some pretty interesting and amazing topics this year. Some of my favorites have been the immigrant church, conflict, multi-level marketing, and sex. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, you know, it’s really amazing. I look back through the years, and we’ve had these opportunities to partner with, like, all these other podcasts that we really respect. You know, we’ve done partnership episodes with The Holy Post, uh, with The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, Black History for White People, Happy Hour with Jamie Ivy, Gospel Coalition. This last year we did one with Truce. Like it’s so fun for us as, you know, storytellers and podcast people to lock arms with other people that we really respect and to tell stories together. 

ANNA TRAN: Yeah, it’s a really big honor to be able to do this kind of work for a living, all for the purpose of helping people follow Jesus in their culture and context.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so that’s the Love That Neighborhood podcast. That’s not our only show. We also have The EnneaCast, and it seems like the most appropriate thing to do would be to talk with Lindsey Lewis, my co-host. So, hey Lindsey. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: I’m Lindsey Lewis. 

JESSE EUBANKS: (laughs) Okay, so Lindsey, why The EnneaCast? Like why do we have that show? What’s its purpose?

LINDSEY LEWIS: The purpose of The EnneaCast is to help people build better relationships – and we always say not just better relationships with others, but also with yourself and with God. 


LINDSEY LEWIS: And that led us into our topics that we covered this year. So our first series was – how can we resolve conflict in a healthier way? So this was all about no matter where you are in life, no matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom or you’re in a Fortune 500 company, you will encounter conflict. And so how do we deal with that with our different types? 


LINDSEY LEWIS: And then our second series was my favorite actually that we’ve done so far, and it was – how does my personality influence my relationship with God?

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, that was such an enjoyable series for you and I both to explore. What sticks out to you about that?

LINDSEY LEWIS: Yeah, I think one thing we talked about over and over was how deep people went. 


LINDSEY LEWIS: Like how vulnerable our guests were without us even really trying. People were so ready to engage this topic because, at the end of the day, we are people who want a better relationship with God. Every episode, I was able to write the truth about God. And so the act of writing those truths – you know, it was kind of a meditation process for me – and then speaking those truths with you and our guests, every episode it just gave me tingles of, you know, the Holy Spirit in you when the Holy Spirit’s like, “Yes, that’s it. That’s the truth. It feels too good to be true, but it is the truth.” 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, I really, really did enjoy that series especially. It was, it was encouraging for my personal faith. 


JESSE EUBANKS: Man, it just showed like all of us just have work to do, but also God is totally meeting us in that. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: Yeah. Totally.

JESSE EUBANKS: So we interviewed a ton of fascinating folks over the last year. Anyone stick out to you in particular? 

LINDSEY LEWIS: The one I was most excited about on the front end was Sharon McMahon. 

JESSE EUBANKS: You fangirled. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: I’m a huge fan. Kiana and I both wore our, like, t-shirts and we had our mugs and I just think she is a good human doing really good human things.


LINDSEY LEWIS: But the one that really ended up being my favorite was our episode with Dr. Dan Allender. 


LINDSEY LEWIS: I think you and I were both just sort of – we had this childlike wonder look on our face of like, “We need to sit here in silence for a few minutes and just soak in his wisdom.” He was so generous and, you know, gentle, even though he’s an eight on the Enneagram, and so that was a really fun episode.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. Yeah, there is really something about interviewing him, somebody who’s really lived through some life and has real wisdom, you know? 


JESSE EUBANKS: Some of us, like, can run the risk of, like, we use the language of transformation, but we haven’t really done as deep of the work. And when you’re talking with Dr. Allender, there’s a real sense of like, “This is a man that’s using very precise language for the experiences that he has actually been through.”


JESSE EUBANKS: And there’s just great wisdom that comes out of that. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: Yep. But you were fanboying over a different episode. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. I was so excited to talk with Jasmine Mullen of The New Respects. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: It was so good. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Uh, that episode comes out I think in just a couple of weeks, but I’m like a huge New Respects fan. 


JESSE EUBANKS: And so if you don’t know who they are, check them out. They’re amazing. Okay, so like EnneaCast – it was a great year. 


JESSE EUBANKS: We’ve also got really exciting stuff that we’re working on for the coming year that we’re super excited to share with folks. But what does all this mean, Anna, in terms of numbers? How have these shows done over the last year? Does it seem like they’re helping anyone? Is anyone responding? Is this going out into the black void and there’s no one listening on the other end? 

ANNA TRAN: (laughs) Actually, it’s been a really exciting year. So on the Love Thy Neighborhood podcast, we actually saw an 84% annual growth in listens, and the most exciting thing is that we broke a million all-time listens since we started the podcast. And then on The EnneaCast, we saw 86% annual growth of our listens this year. And funnily enough, you know, three days later after the LTN podcast broke a million all-time listens, The EnneaCast also broke a million all-time listens. And so, all in all, it’s been a really good year for us. We’ve been on the charts in Uganda, Panama, Kenya, Australia, all over the world.

JESSE EUBANKS: So for you as the producer of our podcast, what is the purpose? What is the big goal? What is getting you up in the morning to keep making this kind of content? 

ANNA TRAN: You know, at the end of the day, I really think about this – these podcasts are discipling Christians to serve their neighbors and cultivate healthy relationships and follow Jesus in their own personal culture and context. So whether you live in a suburban neighborhood, whether you live in an urban environment, or you live out on a farm, we want you, our listeners, to be able to think about how you can faithfully and obediently follow Jesus where you’re at. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. All right. Anna, thank you. 

ANNA TRAN: Yeah, great to be here.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, Lindsey, let’s bring it back to you. So I wanna talk a little bit about our workshops. Not only do you co-host The EnneaCast with me, but you are also our Director of Relational Formation and you oversee sort of all things Enneagram and workshops. So what’s kind of the big question that drives the work that you do?

LINDSEY LEWIS: I think we have come to the conclusion, you know, as an organization that the purpose of life is relationships, so then the question that we’re answering, you know, especially in my role is, “Well, how do we become better at doing relationships?” Because we are Christians, we work with a lot of Christians, and yet we see that it’s messy.


LINDSEY LEWIS: And so we have found that a key component to help tidy up the mess a little bit is self-clarity, that self-clarity is essential for healthy relationships. And, you know that whole log and speck analogy – it’s just very clear that we need to know ourselves in order to be better friends, coworkers, body of Christ-ers, (laughs) et cetera.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, right. Yeah. Okay, so the purpose of life is relationships. So there’s this question – how do we become better at doing relationships? Self-clarity is essential for healthy relationships. So in what ways are workshops helping people become better at doing relationships and getting self-clarity?

LINDSEY LEWIS: So we have come up with three big questions that we’re seeking to answer, and we’ve come up with three corresponding workshops for each of those questions.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so what’s the first question? 

LINDSEY LEWIS: The first question is – “How has my life story formed my personality?” So we’re not looking present or future, we’re looking backward – like how did I get here? And we have a workshop for that that you can actually do in the comfort of your home or in person with Jesse and myself called Mapping Your Enneagram Story, where you’re gonna look at your life story and come up with those major themes that’s then gonna help you look at who you are today and help you go forward.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. “Who I am came from somewhere.” 


JESSE EUBANKS: “What are the series of events that happened that have formed me into who I am?” 


JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so then that would lead to the second question, which is what? 

LINDSEY LEWIS: “What is my personality and relational style?” So now I’ve been looking at myself, you know, a history of me, and now I need to know, “Okay, what does all this information mean?” And that’s where we teach the nine types. This is our basic introduction to the Enneagram and the gospel. So we come at the Enneagram with the lens of the gospel, and so we are looking at how our personality combined with the good news of Jesus and the Holy Spirit can help us know ourselves better for that self-clarity that will lead to better relationships.

JESSE EUBANKS: And then that self-awareness and understanding our relational style – it’s gonna come out like in all of life. 


JESSE EUBANKS: But in particular, we’ve had folks asking about one area of life in particular, which is what?

LINDSEY LEWIS: The workplace. So, “How does this personality that I have now – you know, my type, if you will – how does it show up in the workplace? You know, because I know who I am, but yet I’m still, you know, having conflict at work.” So we created The Enneagram in the Workplace. We teach this in an overtly faith-based way, and we can also teach it in a way that removes the religious language so that all people of diverse beliefs can still come to that self-awareness. But then, as a bonus, because our heart is always to present the gospel, we always offer a free extra workshop at the end where we do explain the gospel and how the gospel really is necessary for true personal development. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, so after we’ve spent hours and hours and hours with these corporate teams exploring about how, you know, their dynamics and their relational styles and then we’re like, “Hey, if you wanna know how Christians are exploring these things, here’s this free bonus thing at the end that the corporation does not pay for.” And what we love is that, you know, there are people that would never go to a church – 


JESSE EUBANKS: – but they’ll stick around because they’re curious.


JESSE EUBANKS: And we’re then able to sit there and talk about Jesus and talk about all the work that he’s done and how he resolves these huge life questions. 


JESSE EUBANKS: It’s really been a surprising thing. So if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking like, “Oh, that would be really nice,” like what do we offer folks?

LINDSEY LEWIS: Well, we offer both public and private workshops. So anyone can contact me, [email protected], and we can set up a customized plan for your workplace, for your church, for your small group, whatever group you have, and create a private workshop. And then we also host Enneagram events a few times a year here in our offices. So we’ve worked with everything from large Fortune 500 companies to your small local mom and pop shop. We’ve also worked with churches and small Christian groups and secular groups. So really, no matter what sort of group you’re working with, we have something for you and for your team members. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, and so what’s exciting is that we just launched a brand new website, – been totally redesigned – and we have a ton of information on the website now about all of the workshops that we offer. 


JESSE EUBANKS: So you can go there and you can sign up for future public workshops. So if you wanna travel to Louisville and hang out with us, we’d love to have you. 


JESSE EUBANKS: Um, but you can also learn more about what it would look like to bring us to your city or your company or whatever, and we would love to come and spend time with you. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: Yeah. Keep checking back ’cause we are constantly adding more content to our Enneagram pages on the website. And in the upcoming year, we will also have video courses. So if you and your spouse or your small group wanna take some of these workshops, you know, in the privacy of your own home, that will be an option as well.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so the other exciting thing is that it’s not like you and I are like getting big fat pockets off of all of this – like this, this money that we’re generating from these workshops does what? 

LINDSEY LEWIS: All of the money that we earn from these workshops cycles right back into the mission of Love Thy Neighborhood as an organization. So just since June, our workshops have generated over $20,000 in funding for this ministry, which we see as just the Lord’s perfect timing. It was really the moment that I stepped into this new role things began to fall into our laps, and at the same time we were undergoing, you know, changes with our organization, with our program, and these workshops generated revenue that we needed. 


LINDSEY LEWIS: Over these past six months. 


LINDSEY LEWIS: And so all of the money, yeah, it doesn’t go directly back to you or I making us famous. We are in it to just bring it back into the ministry so the ministry can continue to grow and thrive. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. So, again, what is the purpose and the point of all of these workshops?

LINDSEY LEWIS: All of our workshops have one goal and that goal is very in sync with the goals of Love Thy Neighborhood as a whole organization, and that is to help people build better relationships with God, others, and themselves. 

JESSE EUBANKS: So again, if you are listening to this and you’re going, “I would like that. I’d like to have better relationships with God and with other people, with myself,” we would love for you to come and participate in one of our workshops or have us come and visit with you. So again, head over to where you can learn more. Okay, thanks Lindsey. 

LINDSEY LEWIS: My pleasure.

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so probably the other thing that we need to talk about that’s like one of the biggest things that we do, one of the things that we’ve always been known for, is our programs for young adults. Uh, and so I’ve actually asked our program director, Anna Johnson, to join me. Hey, Anna. 


JESSE EUBANKS: Here’s the deal – I don’t think most of our listeners have ever heard your voice before. I don’t think that they’re familiar with you. 

ANNA JOHNSON: They probably haven’t. 


ANNA JOHNSON: At least not in this way. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. Well, so Anna joined the team back in May and, uh, has been leading our programs ever since. It has been a wild year, so let’s catch people up on all things related to the programs. But I think that even before we get into sort of what the programs are, start with this – what is the purpose of our programs? Like what are we trying to do?

ANNA JOHNSON: We are trying to answer one big question, which is “How can we disciple young adults to follow Jesus in modern times?” really through a program. So we want young adults to be able to come here and figure out what it looks like to live like Jesus in the city today. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. And we have two avenues that we offer to young adults. What are those? 

ANNA JOHNSON: That is the case. Those two avenues are the LTN Institute, which is an urban missions gap year program for young adults, so they come and hang out with us for a whole year. Um, we also have the LTN Intensive, which is an urban missions summer program for young adults. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, so we offer a year-long option and a summer option. And what are like the foundational things that those programs are built around? 

ANNA JOHNSON: Yeah, I would say that there are three pillars that just really make up the program. And those three pillars are service, community, and discipleship, and I’d love to unpack that a little bit more for you if you want. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, tell us a little bit.

ANNA JOHNSON: Alright. Well, service – I mean, you actually, Jesse, are the one who told me that there’s no way that we can say that we’re living like Christ if we’re not seeing and seeking to serve the people around us, and so we believe that. If this program exists to teach people what it looks like to live like Jesus today in the city, it has to involve service. There’s no way to get around that. And so that shows up in the program in a couple ways. One, anybody who comes and serves with us we’re actually providing with an opportunity to intern with one of our nonprofit partners in the city. They might be serving the homeless with our nonprofit partner Re:Center. They might be serving women facing unplanned pregnancies with our nonprofit partner BsideU for Life. There are many, many, many different ways to serve, um, and that you’re able to serve when you come and join us for either a summer or a year. 

JESSE EUBANKS: So these young adults come in, they’re serving like 25 hours a week at different nonprofits around the city, and then they’re also giving like another five to 10 hours a week to just even serving their neighbors and being involved in their neighborhood. So, okay, first pillar – service. What’s the second pillar?

ANNA JOHNSON: Community. Oof, I feel like this one touches everything. Um, relationships change lives. 


ANNA JOHNSON: We really want people who come and join us and do our programs to learn what it looks like to live in healthy community and so there’s a lot built into the program to help really, like, challenge them in that way and there are a lot of ways that we seek to care for our team members as they come and are trying to live in intense Christian communities. So we encourage them to be sharing with one another on a regular basis how they’re doing, um, learning what it looks like to care for each other – even though, for one person, they might need people to, like, make a lot of space for them. They might need people to kind of be quiet and it might take longer to warm up. For another person they might feel like if you’re not asking them super pointed questions you don’t care for them at all. And so like part of it is really even just like learning how to be sensitive to what people need and learning how to care for people who might even be a little bit different from you. So we’re just trying to provide team members with tools to be able to do that and space to be able to practice that and also, like, just teaching on God’s grace because we need a lot of that – 


ANNA JOHNSON: – to be able to walk in community in love with one another. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. Okay, so they come and they serve and then, uh, they’re living in intentional community with other young adults. Okay. Third pillar is what?

ANNA JOHNSON: Discipleship. Discipleship. Discipleship. So we want to be giving to the team, like teaching about Jesus, about how he lived. Also, a lot of stuff that you guys talk about on the podcast – we want to be providing them with opportunities to have conversations about race, about LGBTQ issues, and how the church can relate to that. About their stories, right? How their stories shape them. And so we’re actually providing teaching. Um, we have speakers coming in and sharing – authors, nonprofit leaders. We’re also reading and discussing books together on all of these topics.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, so helping young adults really form – what is sort of a Christian way to think about the world? Like, uh, if we think of Jesus as our rabbi, like what does it mean for us as Christians to become like our rabbi, to live like him, to see the world like he does? So the programs are trying to help young adults build a foundation early in life with that sort of approach – “I wanna follow in the footsteps of Jesus for my entire life.”

ANNA JOHNSON: Yeah. So three pillars – service, community, discipleship. And the team members actually have a weekly schedule that all of these things sort of show up in, right? So for service, they’re at their internship or they have Saturdays blocked off just for neighborhood outreach. For community, they have set times for prayer and share, set times to have fun together, set times to like practice spiritual disciplines together. And then for discipleship, they have time every day, um, to just like spend time in the Word and alone with the Lord, as well as set times every week for teaching or for a book discussion. So it’s all built into the schedule. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah, even this crazy idea that young adults should practice Sabbath, that they might actually need, uh, to rest once a week and –


JESSE EUBANKS: – to, uh, be with God. So there’s this question that you encourage all the young adults in the program to ask themselves moment to moment every day. What is that? 

ANNA JOHNSON: The mission question. The mission question is – “In this moment, how can I best love God and love people?” And we really want this way of thinking that’s captured in this question to be a part of the fabric of our team members as we leave this program. 

JESSE EUBANKS: So they’re asking themselves this question, and what are some of the outcomes that have resulted from them asking that question of “How can I best love God and love people in this moment?”

ANNA JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, loving people is a little bit wild. Loving God is a little bit wild.


ANNA JOHNSON: But I know for a lot of our team members, something that’s really challenging is, like, honestly seeking to have any type of connection with people that live in the area around them. I mean, people come into this program and they’re terrified to make eye contact with somebody that they pass walking down the street.


ANNA JOHNSON: And I’m getting reflections every week, um, in my email inbox or talking to team members and they’re like, “Anna, oh my gosh. I smiled and nodded at someone today.” (laugh) And I’m like, “You go girl. Let’s see what the next step next week can be.” And so our team members are asking themselves this question – “What does it look like to love God and love people, to walk as Jesus walked?” – and I’m thinking of the summer throughout, um, many of our summer team members’ time with us. It went from making eye contact and smiling to trying to learn people’s names the next week to maybe circling back the next week. And then I, I think about the end of the summer. Um, the culmination of all of this was many of our summer team members actually were able to throw a block party attended by many people in the neighborhood who were then able to, like, meet other team members who were sticking around a longer time or meet each other, and it’s just like really beautiful to me how day by day and, like, weekly small steps of faithfulness culminated in like this really cool party at the end of the summer.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. I even think too about the story of, um, one of our, our team members who, when he arrived, said he was really intimidated, uh, being around these guys that were homeless that lived in the park next to their home where they live, and over the course of the summer, he just very gently and faithfully just sort of befriended them and pursued, you know, a friendship with them. And one thing led to another and eventually, uh, you know, one of those guys ended up going into a recovery program and he cited his friendship with this young adult as being one of the key reasons that he found the hope and the courage to go into that program.

ANNA JOHNSON: Yeah, I know the team member you’re thinking about. And I remember like partway through the summer being out to a lunch after church with friends and like crossing paths with him and this dude in a restaurant and he’s like, “This is my friend.” 


ANNA JOHNSON: And like we had this whole interaction, and it was a guy that he had built a relationship with who was living on a corner just a few blocks from his house.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. Okay, let’s talk a little bit about where the programs are now. You know, we launched this thing in 2014 and every single year more and more young adults kept showing up and we grew every year. But then 2020 hits, pandemic comes and changes everything, and so we get a bunch of young adults drop out of the program ’cause they’re scared of catching Covid. Totally understandable. We then suddenly see this bizarre upswing of young adults coming into the program because they didn’t wanna go pay a fortune to go to college to sit in their dorm rooms so they wanted to come serve. But then in the last several months we’ve come to realize, “Oh my gosh, not going out to college campuses for two years has really kind of changed things for us.” So we had to do this unprecedented thing for us as an organization where we opted to cancel both the fall and the winter terms – never done that before – because we really just couldn’t give young adults the experience that we were hoping for them to have. So I say all that in order to say it led to this kind of, uh, an opportunity we were not looking for, but one that we’re really grateful for. And that is what?

ANNA JOHNSON: We have had several months to just ask God – “why are we here and what are we doing and how can we help this program to achieve what it is that you’ve, like, put on our hearts for it to be,” right? So we’ve been able to reimagine the programs and really, like, bring them to a place where they’re in, like, their purest form again, which has been really, really sweet to be able to be a part of.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. A lot of times when we are, uh, doing ministry, it’s we’re in the work and it’s hard to, like, to work on the work, and so this was a really interesting moment where we were able to step outside and sort of reimagine, try to redesign. We’ve made a lot of changes, but there’s a couple of huge tweaks that we have made to both the Summer Intensive as well as the Year-Long Institute. Will you talk to us just very briefly about both those? 

ANNA JOHNSON: Yes, very briefly. So one change that you can expect – um, I’m thinking about summer 2023 rolling up – is a lot more structure around spiritual disciplines. So we’ve been working together actually on – I don’t know if I would call it curriculum, but just like a guide for how to have silence and solitude, and also for how to share even in just like a brief way with each other about like hopes for the day and pray together before going off to your internships.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. So more structure around spiritual disciplines, a greater emphasis on living as a disciple of Jesus. So that’s the Intensive. 


JESSE EUBANKS: Uh, what about the Institute?

ANNA JOHNSON: Oof. I am so excited. Institute, we have a lot of really cool changes coming up. One of them that I’m really, really excited about is a new focus on leadership development for year-long team members. Throughout the program, you’re, you’re learning like, “What does it look like to live like Jesus in the city?” Part of living like Jesus though is discipling others. It’s a huge part of it. 


ANNA JOHNSON: I mean, that’s what the dude was doing. 


ANNA JOHNSON: Honestly. 


ANNA JOHNSON: And so what we wanna do with the Institute and what we’re planning on doing is actually helping our Institute team members develop as leaders and then giving them opportunities to disciple both one another whenever new terms come on and also the summer team. So Institute team members moving forward will have a leadership role and will actually be coaching the summer team through things like outreach, which can be pretty scary, or leading book discussions about, like, some pretty tough topics.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. I love that. Let’s kind of wrap this up with this. What is the purpose of all of this? Why are we doing this? 

ANNA JOHNSON: These programs exist to help young adults walk in the life and the lifestyle of Jesus through service, through community, and through discipleship. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. So if you are a young adult, you’re looking for a place to serve, we would love to have you come and serve with us. There are tons of people in our city that need friendships with folks like you. And if you’re like, “Well, I feel young and inexperienced,” awesome. We love that. Come, experience stepping out into adulthood here. We love to journey with you. And then also, if you are a parent of a young adult or you have a young adult in your life that you believe would be a great benefit to this community, send ’em our way. We would love to, uh, spend a season journeying with them. It’d be our privilege and honor.

ANNA JOHNSON: Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Alright. Well, thanks Anna. 


JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so this is actually a really exciting portion where we get to give some great updates, and so I am actually not gonna give those. I’ve invited our director of operations, Kiana Brown, to join us. Hi, Kiana. 


JESSE EUBANKS: So what exciting updates do you have for our audience today? 

KIANA BROWN: Yeah, so I have a couple updates. The first one is that we now have a meeting space in our offices where we can host workshops. 


KIANA BROWN: So that’s exciting because we’re not looking for a venue, looking for a space, trying to find somewhere to hold our workshops. So now whenever you sign up to come do a workshop with Love Thy Neighborhood, you actually get to come to our offices.

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. It is super exciting. Yeah. Uh, it’s a really nice, like, intimate space. It feels like very warm. It’s in an old – you know, we’re in an older part of the city. 


JESSE EUBANKS: So it’s like quaint, and, like, it’s great. We have this new space for workshops. What else are we celebrating? 

KIANA BROWN: Yeah, so another exciting thing happening this year is the Urbana conference that’s happening at the end of December. For those of you who don’t know, Urbana is a conference put on by InterVarsity. It is for young adults, and they focus on the intersection of the Great Commission and justice. 

JESSE EUBANKS: And it’s a big conference. It’s like, you know, it’s like a stadium of people. 

KIANA BROWN: It’s huge. They fill stadiums. 


KIANA BROWN: They fill arenas. Yes, it is a large group of young adults. This is our third time going to Urbana, and we were approached by InterVarsity to be a bedrock exhibitor for this conference. We were one of only 12 that were selected among hundreds of exhibitors. Some other exhibitors that are those bedrock exhibitors include Compassion International, Cru, International Justice Mission, and Navigators. So really exciting. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. So if, uh, you’re gonna be at the Urbana conference at the end of the year, come by and see us, and I’ll also be there teaching a workshop. But here’s one of the reasons why that in particular is exciting for us – is that every time that we’ve gone to Urbana in the past, it has resulted in massive amounts of young adults applying for the program. 


JESSE EUBANKS: It’s, it’s a really big deal for us. So also you can be praying for us that, uh, that we get a lot of response because it’s gonna be a great opportunity for us to connect with young adults. 

KIANA BROWN: Absolutely. So the next thing that I want to tell you guys about is that we have a new website that just launched this week, so very exciting. 

JESSE EUBANKS: And I don’t think that everyone can really fully comprehend like how excited you are in particular about the website, like you have been laboring on that for weeks.

KIANA BROWN: I have had a few very late nights working on this website. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. And it looks amazing. Like the new website –


JESSE EUBANKS: – is so clear. It’s so easy to use. It really represents who we are as an organization right now. 


JESSE EUBANKS: So great information about, you know, our podcasts, our workshops, uh, our programs, and ways that you can get involved. So whether, you know – whatever it is that you’re looking for related to LTN, you’re gonna find it there.

KIANA BROWN: Yeah, very user friendly, mobile friendly, great new website. We’re very excited for people to see it. 


KIANA BROWN: There’s one more exciting update that is happening in January. Jesse, can you tell us a little bit about that? 

JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so in January, my very first book is coming out – How We Relate: Understanding God, Yourself, and Others through The Enneagram. It’s coming out from Zondervan Books, and yeah, so I’m pretty excited, uh, to finally, like, release that into the wild. I’ve been working on it for, you know, gosh, almost three years now. I’m pretty excited. 

KIANA BROWN: So we’re really excited at Love Thy Neighborhood because one of our beliefs is that we wanna help people build better relationships and we believe this book is one of those tools that will help do that for people. So we have talked a lot about these principles and these ideas that you’re writing about. You and Lindsey and even Sam have talked a lot about them in The EnneaCast, but this is all in one space, very accessible for people. Our goal is to get this into as many hands as possible, to help as many people as possible really build better relationships. That’s really what we’re excited about. 

JESSE EUBANKS: Yeah. Well, I hope that it does. I’m super excited about it. Well, Kiana, thank you so much for updating everybody on all the exciting things going on at LTN. 


JESSE EUBANKS: Okay, so you have heard all about our podcast. You’ve heard all about our workshops. You’ve heard about our programs. It’s been like a State of the Union. This is where we are. I feel like it’s really important that I share with you just a little bit about where we’re going over this next year. First thing is this – in the first quarter of next year, we are looking to hire a new Development Director. So if you are somebody that has done fundraising and you are interested in working with us, reach out. We’d love to connect with you. We have a lot of things going on and we live in a world, unfortunately, that requires a lot of money to do these things and so we want to give folks the opportunity to step into what God is doing through this ministry, to be a part of that story, and we would love to have a Development Director to come and assist with that. In summer of 2023, we’re gonna be launching the new LTN Intensive, and then in fall ’23, we will be launching the new LTN Institute. The other thing that’s gonna be happening in 2023, more than it ever has in the past, is that we’re gonna be expanding our revenue streams to further support the ministry. The reality is that historically we’ve relied only on donors to do the work that we do, um, but we would like to be able to develop some creative revenue streams in order to come alongside those donors, folks like you, uh, in order to keep this ministry going. So we’d like to continue to grow into a ministry that is funded both by generous, sacrificial donors, as well as creative, reliable revenue streams.

Okay, and all of that leads to this. I wanna talk with you about some of our pressing needs as an organization that are coming up over the next few years. The first thing is this – our podcast team needs additional personnel in order to keep up with the production demands and complete thorough research for each of the episodes. Um, the truth is that we are a bit of a skeleton staff. We do need to expand that staff a little more to bring in more support systems so that we can provide even greater content for all of you to serve you more. The other thing is that this year we are seeking more corporate clients to provide Enneagram workshops as revenue for the ministry. So if you are somebody that works for a company or a church and you think that your organization would benefit from Enneagram workshops, head over to our website,, and you can learn more about those workshops. Also this year we’re gonna be launching the new LTN Intensive and LTN Institute, and we are looking for connections for recruitment. So if you know somebody that you believe that our recruitment team should be speaking to in order to let young adults know about our program, we would love to connect with them. Please reach out. Over the next three years, our podcasts are seeking to produce 120 new episodes to disciple and help people, our programs are seeking to recruit, disciple, and mobilize 150 young adults, and we’re seeking to add more educational trips for the young adults that are in our year-long Institute. Finally, we are seeking to move our podcast studio to a larger space in our building and to add video content to our ministry services, so we are excited about the possibility of not just offering audio content, but video content as well. And then finally, this year we’re seeking to hire a new Development Director, and as soon as possible we would also like to hire a Promotions Manager, a Project Manager, and a Summer Program Assistant. Why are we doing all of this? Because we believe that relationships change lives. We want to help people be able to walk in the life and the lifestyle of Jesus and to be able to have deeper, more meaningful, rich relationships with God, other people, and themselves. To do all of this – to put these podcasts together, to run these workshops, and to run these programs for young adults – we need help. We need help from people like you. We are in need of $100,000 before January 1 in order to make our vision and mission for 2023 be a reality. But, if you’re listening and you’re going, “Oh my gosh, that is so much money,” there’s good news. And the good news is this – everything that you give today up to $10,000 will automatically be doubled. So if you donate 20 bucks, it will turn into 40. Donate a hundred, it becomes 200. Donate a thousand, it becomes 2,000. Donate 5,000, it becomes 10. It would mean so much to us if you would choose to trust us with your generous and compassionate sacrifice. We will put your money to good use to make a difference here in our city, to make a difference through these podcasts, and to help people walk in the life and the lifestyle of Jesus. In order to donate, you can go down into the show notes where we have a link to our donate page, and you can easily donate there. Or, you can head over to Because of your generosity and your sacrifice, we have seen more people listen to the podcast this year than ever before, we have seen more people come to our workshops than ever before, and we’ve had the opportunity to redesign our programs to better suit the young adults of today. All of that is possible because of you. It is my pleasure to be able to sit here at the end of every year and to give a bit of the State of the Union of this organization, and I do not take for granted at all. Anna Tran said it earlier, that it is a privilege that we get to do the work that we do. It is an honor that we get to share the love of Jesus with people. And our hope for you is that in your corner of the urban universe that when I ask somebody in your circle to tell me five names of people that have deeply impacted their life that you would be one of them because relationships change lives.


JESSE EUBANKS: Learn more and get involved with Love Thy Neighborhood by heading over to Special thanks to our staff – Kiana Brown, Rachel Hamm, Anna Tran, Lindsey Lewis, Anna Johnson, and Kirsten Cragg. Special thanks to our Board of Directors – Jesse Faught, Dave Burnette, Hong Siu, Hilary Noltemeyer, Bill Nunery, and Michael Hall.

Which of these was a neighbor to the man in need? The one who showed mercy. Jesus tells us, “Go, and do likewise.”


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