I am enthralled with this model, even in a small town. What might it look like if we had neighborhood expressions of our own church, each involved in mission? Are we so small that we’re already a neighborhood unto ourselves? Or do we have distinct areas?
Here’s what I found from City Parish:
Each parish is committed to living beyond Sunday services but moving to the heartbeat of the surrounding area, fully engaged with the neighborhood as a whole. With a local pastor living within the neighborhood, the parish is guided by local elders and a leadership team who provide spiritual direction and a specific missional vocation for the congregation. Each neighborhood community also has its own structures for pastoral care.
Permanence, proximity and priority in relationships are so elusive in city life but crucial to neighborhood transformation. For this reason, leaders establish their roots in their neighborhood near one another and encourage members of the church to do the same if they are able.
These neighborhood churches hold weekend worship gatherings, the purpose of which is to celebrate the signs of the kingdom of God breaking out across the neighborhood. Each community has the freedom to contextualize its worship to the culture of its neighborhood communities–meeting in areas with many families may cause a parish to focus on developing a thriving children’s ministry, while a gathering in a neighborhood full of artists may include interactive, creative elements in its worship.
I’m wondering where this might work here?