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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Hospitality in the Suburbs

David Fitch shares some timely thought on practicing hospitality in the suburbs. For those of us who are interested in planting or revitalizing churches in non-urban settings, this is particularly relevent. Here's a snippet:
...the suburbs are built for the idolization of the affectionate family as the end and purpose of all life.

The problem? When the family becomes another form of life separated from God and the church, it too becomes another form of self-imploding narcissicism focused on consuming more stuff for the perfect home, and contract services to make home life easier.

There is nothing but contrived affection left to keep the home together. And our children who learn they are the center of this universe from us parents actually develop character that believes “they actually are” the center of the universe. Years later America is left with families split by divorce, kids leaving in rebellion, and millions on various drugs to relieve the emptiness due the loss of purpose left as the idolized family turns out to be a myth apart from its mission in Christ.

But I digress here off the issue of hospitality. There is a real problem here in the spreading of the gospel for Life on the Vine and other emerging churches who live under the imposed conditions of the hostile suburbs. If hospitality is to be a central way of life for the spreading of the gospel, the alienation of the suburbs is a condition of our exile we must overcome. ...
I'd strongly encourage you to read the whole thing over here (HT: Scot McKnight).

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