Our church is located in suburbia. This is our ministry “context.” Therefore, to ministry effectively, we must understand how suburbia impacts us as Christians and how we as Christians can reach suburbia. Albert Hsu (pronounced “shee”) has written a book The Suburban Christian (2006) (you can find the introduction and chapter one online). In it, he seeks to contextualize life as a Christian in the suburbs. He writes
As we examine how suburbia has influenced our Christian practice for good and for ill, we will consider ways that Christians can redeem the suburbs. How has suburbia shaped our Christianity, and how might Christianity shape the suburbs (14)?
For those who minister and/or live in suburbia, these are questions that, in my opinion, we must be asking. There are majors and tracts for urban ministry in colleges and seminiaries, but not many (none that I’m aware of) that emphasize suburban ministry (or exurban as it’s sometimes called). I wonder why since over 50% of America now lives in a suburban setting. As the urban sprawl continues (with no end in site), churches will soon occupy these new areas. So how do we effectively reach suburbanites?
If you have been thinking through this issue, I would appreciate hearing from you to understand what questions we should be asking so that we can begin forming answers in this quest.