We Are Going on an Exciting Journey Into Our Very Own Neighborhoods
This journey takes time and effort. But, like anything that is important in this life, the effort is well worth your investment.
What is the Living Local philosophy?
Historically, the church has employed a social ministry model where we provide services for those in need. Living Local views connections with others as more than acts of charity, they are opportunities for new relationships. Living Local is about mutuality, and where we learn to discover Jesus among our neighbors as equals. The exciting part is never knowing which encounter with a neighbor will be the encounter that reveals Jesus!
This work is not about increasing membership, but rather increasing companionship with neighbors and neighborhoods. In a world where the church has lost its institutional trust, we need to begin rethinking where we cultivate trust in new ways and new locations. One of the ways we might do this as congregations is through our willingness to abide among our neighbors, and to be listening companions with their passions, and joys. It is there where God is calling churches to experience renewed transformation. It is there where God is inviting churches to join with God by seeing the familiar in fresh and surprising ways.
Embracing the Living Local movement
We’re listening, reflecting, and discerning where God is calling us be renewed in new relationships. Our hope going forward is to involve all congregations in more of these outwardly focused practices.
What is the Living Local process?
Living Local is an 18-month guided, discernment journey for expanding and extending imaginations, and connections among neighbors, and neighborhoods. This process invites listening and engagement with neighbors in new ways in order to join God's life beyond the church building walls.
We begin this guided journey by dwelling together in God's word, an ancient practice for learning to listen to God through the other. This same listening we extend to our neighbors exploring other dimensions of God's promised presence among us. As we listen to our neighbors, we'll begin to curate curiosity for where God might be meeting us in the hospitality of the strange and stranger. From there we can begin to probe, wonder, and experiment our way into a new future attending to where the Kingdom of God is breaking in among the least likely places, and people.
There's a larger community of people
What we learned was really important to develop a relationship with the neighbors first, and to see what God is up to outside the church.