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Location: Liverpool, NY

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Missional in Suburbia

Do you live in the suburbs and are wondering how to live more missionally?  Could you help out an acquaintance of mine with some research?  Check out this site and take the survey: Survey | Missional in Suburbia

What are the greatest challenges (for you and your family) when it comes to following Christ in suburbia?
Our lives are complicated, busy and insular.  It's difficult to make time for unchurched people.  I'm often overwhelmed by my own family needs and stress.
What are the greatest challenges for the church in suburbia?
Their continual failure to recognize the urgency of mission -- the need to plant new churches, create new ministry paradigms and be involved in personal evangelism.  Barna's illustration from the late 80's of the frog in the kettle has absolutely come true.

Their failure to recognize the current ministry paradigms and efforts are not and have not worked.  They have not produced disciples who reproduce themselves.  Effective new ministry paradigms have not yet arisen to supplant these failing efforts.

Churches are burdened by the dueling demands of consumers (their members) and the needs the community.

Too many churches are mired in conflict and their reputations are either poor or nonexistent in their communities.

As predicted 20 years ago, we are approaching the point where churches under 100 cannot afford a full-time clergy and/or their building but so believe they must have these things.  Thus they are stuck in a false survival mode.

The economic downturn has created real physical poverty and previously proud suburban folk are now having to go to food pantries, utilize Food Stamps and other government programs, and shop at the Salvation Army or Rescue Mission stores. Their needs are greater and are more open for help from churches. And they willingness to volunteer is greater.

Suburban people in general feel stressed and isolated.  They crave community.
What do you like about suburbia?
In contrast to urban areas locally, it is safer and less stressful, the schools and stores are better, and it's prettier, cleaner and more comfortable.
What do you not like about suburbia?
It's mostly monoethnic Caucasian and I like living amongst Latino's, Asians and other people of color.
Any other thoughts?
My growing up in suburbia ...

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