Todd Hiestand has a new site called “Missional in Suburbia”. The title is pretty self explanatory. As I’m in the beginning stages of being sent out of Desert Springs Church (my current church and place of employment) to plant a missional church in Rio Rancho, NM, I am thinking a lot about how to reach this suburban city. The reality is, all of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho is one big suburb. We do not have a thriving downtown that is the “heart” or “center” of the city where the culture emanates from. So this is really a question of how to reach the metropolitan area I am in now. How to fight our default mode of individualism and materialism, is a pressing question.
Todd has spent more time thinking about this than I have and I think he has some great words of wisdom here:
The fact is, people are longing for community. In most neighborhoods in suburban America (there are exceptions), we have lost our sense of what it means to be a neighbor. But I’m convinced this isn’t because people aren’t longing for it. I believe most people really do want to know their neighbors. But we’ve somehow created a culture where it doesn’t naturally happen anymore. You can blame it on the back porch, television or air conditioning. The simple fact is that most people lack real connection with their neighbors.
I believe that as Christians, we must rediscover the simple practice of hospitality. I believe it is vital to our witness. And, I believe that it is this simple practice that actually allows me to get my mind around what I can practically do to live more intentionally as a witness to the risen Messiah.