In this special series of Place Matters, we have been exploring the relationship of congregations to their local context. We have made the case that, for churches, place should matter too. Any understanding of a thriving congregation is incomplete if it does not include caring well for our neighbors and neighborhood. We partnered with the Barna Group to put some data behind this.
For this conversation to have any credibility, of course, we must engage a more inclusive and representative audience of leaders. So, we have been talking to our friend, the Rev Dr. Alvin Sanders, President and CEO of World Impact, about some similar research he and his team have done with Barna to engage Black and brown pastors who are serving in lower-income, majority-minority neighborhoods.
World Impact is an organization that exists specifically to offer training and equipping for church leaders working in lower-income, urban communities. So what did Alvin and his team discover when they asked about the role of congregations in the neighborhood? Are there signs of hope here? And if so, what can majority culture churches learn to close the church-to-neighborhood gap?