If we truly saw ourselves as an interdependent body with a shared Head, resources, blood, and life, then suburban churches that want to love on a city wouldn’t do it by expanding their empires across city lines. They would do it by truly sharing their resources, blood and life in service to the Head.
Why build a new church building in the city when you can build one for an urban church – in desperate need of a new building– that is already there doing great work?
Why hire a new pastor to work at your new urban church plant, when you can give an urban church the resources to make their long-suffering bi-vocational pastor full-time?
Why fund a new urban service project when you can fund the urban service projects that people of color have been running tirelessly and effectively on a shoe-string budget for years?
The empire says that our church needs to be present in every community, our church has the answers, and our church’s resources are our resources alone. If we follow this path, power dynamics remain unchanged and urban church plantations ensue.
The better, more honoring path requires equity – which is costly. Just ask the rich, young ruler. Jesus asked him to reject his empire approach to life, stop being so possessive about his possessions, and join the interdependent family of God.