Monday, October 6, 2008

The challenge of being missionional in the suburbs

Some excellent quotes from an interview with Ed Setzer, author of "Breaking the Missional Code: How to Be a Missionary in Your Community,"by Joe Thorn over at Subtext: The Gospel in the Suburban Context:

"First, I think churches in the suburbs need to reconsider and discover again the nature of the biblical gospel. To many, the suburbs mean success. I live in such a place — people move to my area because it is where the other successful people are moving. It is no closer to downtown that 5 other suburbs I could list, but it is the go-to place on the north side of Nashville. Thus, it attracts people who value success. Obviously, a biblical gospel calls us to weakness and not strength. In the midst of the celebration of riches and opulence around us, we hold up a gospel of self-denial, poverty of spirit, and forgiveness of sin.

Second, we want to be counter cultural and push for community. Much of the suburban situation is built around keeping you away from people. I can have my dry cleaning picked up, my groceries delivered, and my lawn mowed every week — and I never have to leave my house. (I have neighbors that I never see unless I intentionally see them.)"

and...

"the suburbs are community killers. Many churches make the assumption that because people have moved to a setting that has back decks instead of front porches that they don’t want community. I have found that they do — they just do not know how to seek and receive it. Life transforming suburban churches can and must lead people to deeper community even when the culture pushes against it."

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