It sounded like a cheesy title, but Michael Frost (Exiles, The Shaping of Things to Come, ReJesus, The Road to Missional) delivered a simple, thought-provoking breakout at Exponential 2012 that I listened to by podcast last night. He compares a good marriage to how we say "I do" and "To death do us part" and the ongoing romance with our spouse with how a church loves her neighborhood (or city). I'd have some minor quibbles, but it was quite helpful for me.
Here are some of his thoughts and points from my sketchy notes, which you can see are comparable to marriage. Should we commit to our neighborhoods (cities) to a lifelong romance, till death do we part? Good thoughts here...
- Move in to the neighborhood God has sent you to
- Listen to your neighborhood
- Talk to your mayor, police chief, fire chief, school principals
- Eat in local restaurants, get in local cafes, walk the neighborhood
- Ask people what they want, long for, desire
- NOTE: Interesting section on midnight-5am "street pastors" 16:45 mark
- "Listen to your neighborhood, it is telling you--if you listen hard enough--how to evangelize them, how to serve them, how to unleash an awareness of the reign of God in that place."
- Partner with your neighborhood
- Stay for a long time in your neighborhood (sickness or health, rich or poor, till death do we part)
- You will move culture to a tipping point by transforming hundreds of thousands of villages across the nation.
- If this place goes down, we will go down with you.