Missional In Suburbia: Moving On, But Not Moving Out.
For the last few years, my blog has proudly displayed the subtitle “Living Missionally in Suburban America.” I’ve been a big proponent of the fact that we must be thinking intentionally about living missionally in our suburban context.
Far too often suburbia has been seen as antithetical to being missional. The assumption seemed to be that if you wanted to be a legit missional voice or person you had to be talking about and living in the city. Now, I get the importance of the city, especially from a cultural standpoint. But the suburbs are home to millions and millions of Christians. We can’t afford to ignore the challenges that they face when it comes to responding to the call of the gospel.
A few years ago I wrote a paper on this topic called “The Gospel and the God-forsaken: The Challenge of the Missional Church in Suburban America.” It was writing this paper that really got me passionate about this topic. The fact that this post has been viewed 13,392 times (as of today) and has received 52 comments has been quite encouraging. No, not because it makes me feel good and important, but more because it helps me know that I am not alone in this journey. This is a vitally important topic. And thankfully, I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Along the way I’ve met quite a few people (virtually and in person) who have become excellent voices and dialogue partners for this topic. I am never surprised to discover that there are much smarter and more faithful people than me living out and thinking through the challenges we face as suburban Christians.
In an effort to give more and more voices to the conversation, I’ve decided to move my thoughts on this topic to a different website then my personal blog. This topic deserves a wider audience and more contributors.
A while ago I purchased the domain: www.missionalinsuburbia.com. I sat on it for a while, but for the last year the blog has been co-written with me by my friend Michael Wallenmeyer. Michael is a pastor at an ELCA church in suburban New Jersey (how much more God-forsaken can it get?!) and his church is in the thick of working out what it means to be missional in their suburban context.
Michael will be driving the conversation at the site and I’ll be putting my two-cents in when I have something to say. I want to encourage you to go there and join the conversation. Add it to your RSS feed. If you would like to be a contributor, use the contact form and we’ll work with you on posting your thoughts.
Thanks to the so many of you who have helped this conversation forward.
As for the future of my personal blog? I’ve become more and more passionate about issues around missional leadership and community. I’m hoping that my blog can point my readers towards resources and thoughts that help us be better leaders and community members, whether this is inside of or outside of the church.
So my new subtitle: Field Notes on Missional Leadership and Community Systems