Where you live…


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I want to challenge you with an idea that you probably can’t act upon right now…  It’s such a radical idea that if you had to act upon it right now you might not be able to; so it’s better that we can talk about it in the abstract first…  The question I want you to consider is: would you be willing to move to a particular area, a neighborhood or city…for God? I know that you would move someplace for the sake of work; if your job required you to move someplace and it was important to your career…  I know that many of you would move someplace because of finances: if you found a great deal and could save some much needed money.  I know that many of you would also move someplace for relationship reasons: either you’re single and you want to be near other singles, or you are in a relationship and want to move closer…  But would you be willing to move someplace for non-financial, non-career related, non-relationship reasons…just because God wanted you to?

In the early days of Jesus, following him always meant something geographic.  The first church in Jerusalem required people to relocate from the outer boroughs and far reaching cities, to Jerusalem, the religious center for everyone waiting for the Messiah.

In more recent times, John M. Perkins who started the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) asked Christians to relocate into some of his areas poorest communities…in order to share their lives in practical ways.  As they relocated their families, they brought their resources, their political influence, their social capital… All things that poorer neighborhoods needed in order to see change.

What if God wanted you to move someplace to help people there know Jesus?  Would you do it?  Or would you talk yourself out of it, “Jesus wants me to save up for a home,” “Jesus wants me to focus on my job”, “Jesus wants me to keep my kids in a good school system…”?

Every adventure begins when someone leaves the comforts of their normal life (the life they choose) to go someplace they would not have normally gone.  I think God has an adventure for you – and it might involve moving into a different kind of neighborhood someday…  Maybe it’ll be a poorer neighborhood than you’re used to, where you can live out your Christian witness.  Or maybe it’ll be a pricer neighborhood than you would have chosen, where you can help host and develop Christian community. Either way, I hope that when the time comes you’ll be ready to take the call.

Related posts:

  1. Union Square…here we come!
  2. The Missional College Student
  3. What are you trying to live up to?
  4. One way to do community…
  5. How Jesus was different…
  6. The complexity of Jesus-ing…
  7. what do you live for?
  8. You can live (pretty well) even without God…sorta

2 thoughts on “Where you live…

  1. good post Leo…challenging and convicting.
    Wasn’t there an attempt to get a Christian community together in Florida and N.Carolina? In Florida, I believe a rich person built a Catholic town – it was scorned by the media. In N. Carolina, a church leader from CA (I believe) challenged many to move to that town to change the culture of the place…but I recall he didn’t move his family.
    this is what I vaguely remembered….getting old if my facts are hazy.
    On the other hand, I do believe in the City of God on earth…how do we do that?

  2. Hey Steve,

    I think the normal human impulse is to get away from “others.” So a Christian-only community would be just another version of that.

    I think you only need a small critical mass of Jesus followers to make a difference in a place.

    Grace and I spend a good amount of time visiting people in our building helping install a/c’s fixing computer problems – normal neighbor stuff – and we sometimes get to talk about Jesus too… But I realize that because it’s just us – in their minds it’s just how “we” are. And as flattering as it is to be thought of as “different” from the world – it would be so GREAT if we had friends around trying to do the same Jesus-y things.

    Because then it wouldn’t just be about me – they would see “those people” – those Jesus-y people. And with enough diversity of friends – a critical mass – our non believing neighbors could get a clearer picture how they might become Jesus people too…instead of seeing all this as just “me.”

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