The work of placemaking is inherently collaborative and inherently communal.
For many churches, these dynamics can pose challenges. Over the last few decades, a shift toward top-down leadership and internally-focused metrics has contributed toward a silo-ism of churches within the neighborhoods they’re rooted.
So when we work with churches and the spaces they’ve been entrusted to steward well (ie—for the flourishing of their neighbor), questions rise to the surface quickly.
How could we use this space differently?
What is our neighborhood asking for?
And who is our neighbor?
Our job isn’t to answer these questions for our churches—they need to know their own neighbors—it is to equip, encourage and empower them in the process.
We continue to find the HEART-SOUL-STRENGTH-MIND language found within Scripture to be super helpful as we partner with churches in neighborhood engagement.
Working to answer these questions won’t immediately solve a church’s space-use curiosities, but it is a necessary step in better understanding themselves, their neighborhood and the neighbors they’re invited to love.
For the Love,