Picking up on deeply rooted sacred texts, Jesus—being tested by yet another religious trap regarding what is most important in life and faith—invites us to love God with every ounce of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. But Jesus didn’t stop there. Instead, he immediately followed with an invitation to love our neighbor as ourselves, putting it on equal footing with our love for God (Mark 12:29-31).
These two sides (love for God and love for neighbor) of the same coin (what is most important?) form the foundation of Flourish’s understanding of placemaking. Physical spaces—buildings and property—remain some of the greatest resources that churches possess (over $1 trillion in such assets by the latest count). Following Jesus’s lead, our placemaking philosophy centers on two primary questions:
- How do we steward our physical space in a holistic way—heart, soul, mind, and strength?
- How does the use of our physical space demonstrate a love for our neighbor?
Placemaking lives at the center of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and is demonstrated most clearly by our love for our neighbor(hood).