The idea of "neighbor" occupies an extremely important place in the world and work of CitySquare. Such has been the case since at least 1994 when we began to talk in terms of the primacy of the neighbor in determining our course of work in inner city communities in Dallas, Texas. We didn't discover written documentation for the ideas that emerged from our relationships with "the poor" until many years later. And, we're still finding experienced-based evidence and argument that the approach is valid and essential.
Consider the following explanation of a "theology of the neighbor."
Our encounter with the Lord occurs in our encounter with others, especially in the encounter with those whose human features have been disfigured by oppression, despoliation, and alienation and who have "no beauty, no majesty" but are the things "from which men turn away their eyes" (Isa. 53:2-3). These are the marginal groups, who have fashioned a true culture for themselves and whose values one must understand if one wishes to reach them. The salvation of humanity passes through them; they are the bearers of the meaning of history and "inherit the Kingdom" (James 2:5). Our attitude towards them, or rather our commitment to them, will indicate whether or not we are directing our existence in conformity with the will of the Father. This is what Christ reveals to us by identifying himself with the poor in the text of Matthew. A theology of the neighbor, which has yet to be worked out, would have to be structured on this basis. (page 116)