The Seinfeldification of the church...
(Tim, with thanks to David T.) If you've missed it, urban church planting is cool again, particularly in the PCA. Hearing the self-congratulatory hype that emanates from urban church plants reminds me of the couples who moved from Wheaton to the inner city of Chicago to be a part of David Main's Circle Church and Bill Leslie's LaSalle Street Church forty plus years ago, now. Looking back and allowing for a few notable exceptions like Chuck Hogren's Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic (now called Chicago Center for Law & Justice), the fruit of these inner city ministries hasn't been stellar, biblically.
One young woman who's a part of one of these plants in Manhattan has some humility and writes wise words on being faithful to the Lord in the city and in the suburbs. Here's a teaser from her post:
Because we believe that children are a blessing from the Lord and an essential element of marriage and because of the economic forces moving married couples with children to the suburbs, Mr. Miller and I have been puzzled by the emphasis on "missional" ministry to the city over the work of the allegedly vacuous churches of suburbia. ...Most troubling in the current urban trend are the ideas that living in an urban area makes one more sensitive to poverty or have more opportunities to evangelize. After living in NYC a total of six months, I've already become immune to the pleas of the countless beggars (as well as the urine scent in the subway and the grime on the streets.) As for evangelism, those opportunities abound just about anywhere; it's a matter of seizing them. My father and sister put me to shame in this regard. Dad, a supervisor for the utility company that provides power to most Arizona suburbs, seems to share the gospel with co-workers and business associates as naturally and frequently as he breaths. And my sister, a suburban housewife, shares the gospel with young mothers she meets through mommy groups and pregnancy classes.