Saturday, July 12, 2008

sub•text: The missional church in the suburban context

Pastor-bloggers Steve McCoy and Joe Thorn have just launched sub•text, a site and ministry about the missional church and ministry in the suburban context. They've got blog posts and links to articles related to suburbia, including resources on evangelism in suburbia and what it means to be missional. Good stuff. They're based in the Chicago suburbs and will be hosting local forums about suburban ministry and mission. The first one will be held in November 2008 (oh, yeah, I'm the speaker).

One of their posts links to an LA Times article about how recent reports projecting the impending death of suburbia are probably premature. While high gas prices may make suburban commuting less desirable, the fact that more jobs are now concentrated in the suburbs and exurbs than cities will keep people living in the suburbs. High gas prices may encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient cars but not necessarily to relocate to urban centers. And technology and telecommuting make it more possible to decrease commuting within suburbia without relocating. All the demographic, population and employment trends point toward more suburbanization, not less.

All the more reason for Christians to be intentionally missional about ministry in the suburbs. It's great that folks like Tim Keller are encouraging people to be missional about center cities and the strategic cultural influencers that live there. But since twice as many people live in suburbs than in center cities, I'm encouraged that folks like Steve and Joe and Todd Hiestand are championing the importance of the suburban mission.

2 comments:

Joe said...

Thanks for the link Al. We're really looking forward to hearing you speak in November.

Helen said...

Perfect timing! I'm writing on this general topic for Leadership so I'll definitely try to get in touch with them.