More than Maps
How many sub-groups, sub-cultures, people groups, neighborhoods, cracks, and crevices are there in your city or region? The homogenous suburban mass is breaking up and many cracks and crevices are left that only relational outreach can fill. So, mission strategy must look at the cracks and crevices, not just the maps. A block party Saturday in a local neighborhood turned out families from China, Virginia, and New York City. All had moved here in the last year. We have a new Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). Just planting worship services with a “ya’ll come” cannot be counted as a sole strategy that births regional transformation with more cracks and crevices developing around language, digital tribes, generational shifts, economic pressure, and information/activity overload.
Reading through the Missional Community Field Guide this summer, which proposes “in addition to using maps to determine our course of action we also implement cracks as a way of becoming the church.” Empowering people to see “the Gospel come to life and incarnated in whatever crack and crevice of society they find themselves in.”
“Reaching the world requires us to release the church to penetrate society, rather than simply offering more centralized services. Such a church, gradually infiltrating subversively through all the networks of society, will birth genuine city transformation.”
Some natural cracks and crevices that are common across our culture: Multi-housing complexes, restaurant workers, language groups, the first responder community. Are there others?