I attended a breakfast meeting of several San Diego-based church planters. We’re a bunch of guys in our 20s and 30s (and maybe 40s) who’ve planted churches within the past two or three years. We meet on a semi-regular basis to catch up and fine-tune each other.
Like myself, each of these guys have chosen to plant in urban areas rather than in suburban subdivisions. There obviously needs to be healthy, missional churches in the suburbs but we also need healthy, missional churches in our urban areas. Our urban areas of today are not the urban areas of the 1970s. They are increasingly populated with young, educated, passionate, artistic people. Here in San Diego we are experiencing a renaissance in our urban areas. The church must be a part of that.
From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it may be a bit tougher to plant in urban areas because you don’t have the exponential population growth that you may see in suburbia. But God has always been concerned with cities and there is a certain energy you only find in urban areas.
I believe our culture will be more urban than suburban in the future. Some sociologists and demographers use the term exurban to describe the renewal happening in older neighborhoods. Whatever you choose to call it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Christ-followers develop a plan to impact those neighborhoods.
It’s exciting to be a part of what God is doing in the city.