Monday, November 03, 2008

A Theology for Choosing Our Homes

I was talking to some of my neighbors last night and they were telling me about what downtown Oklahoma City was like about 15 years ago. "We used to go roller blading through the streets downtown at night," one neighbor said. "The streets were empty. No one was there."

Times have changed. And the changing times continue to suggest that downtown is going to get a lot more exciting.

This story from Saturday's newspaper gives us a glimpse of what is planned for downtown. And with the new NBA team now bringing big league sports to downtown, it is hard to miss the excitement for those who love this city.

I am one of those who is very excited about downtown Oklahoma City, especially since this week, Lord willing, we are moving within a mile and a half of the heart of the city. Yes, we have finally sold our house in the suburbs (it has taken us a year to get our house sold), and we have found a new place to call home. And being close to downtown sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun.

But that's not why we are moving there.

We want to live there so that we can give ourselves away for the good of Oklahoma City. We aim to be involved in as many things as possible as we seek the peace of our city. Our dream for our church, Crosstown, is that it would be "a church for the city," boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Our living there is as essential as a missionary to Kenya actually living in Kenya!

Unfortunately, many Christians pay little attention to where they should live and how that impacts their mission on this earth. By that I mean that we often seek the safest neighborhoods and biggest houses that we can afford with little to no consideration of how the place where we call home impacts our strategy as Christ's ambassadors. To be sure, there were some places that we didn't consider as our new home because of the condition or size of the place. We do after all have two kids and since we homeschool them, we actually use our home. But the home we have just sold no longer worked for us not because we needed a bigger house (we are downsizing a bit) and not because we needed a better neighborhood (we had an ideal neighborhood here in the suburbs) but because we needed a better location for the work God has called us to do.

How does where you live fit the mission that God desires for you? May we all have an answer for that, whether we live in the city, the suburbs, or the country.

1 comment:

Collin said...

Great thoughts Ben. I agree that it is imperative for us to think missiologically as churches in the United States or else we risk losing our voice.