THEHope

While the mix of hyper-individualism, extreme relativism and pluralism
in this region makes church planting difficult, it also offers powerful inroads for the Gospel.

Include/Belong. Radical individualism and distrust for meta-values eventually call in their debts. The Northwest is full of lonely urbanites and can be as legalistic as any town in the Bible-belt. Submerged racism, socio-economic division and a disdain for whatever (and whomever) is considered “uncool” belie our claim to be inclusive. Only the Gospel can break through the barriers of race, gender, age and socio-economic status to create authentic spiritual community.

Experience/Create. God’s “Second Book” speaks loudly in this part of the world, partly by its stunning beauty and partly because in spite of its majesty it still leaves souls wanting more. The Scriptures explain why the world leaves us hungry (Ecclesiastes 3.11) and the joy of creating eventually meets up with the law of entropy (Mark 8.36). But the impulse to create and achieve can be redeemed if the image bearer is renewed in Christ.

Believe/Be. Most Northwesterners reject a Christianity that does not exist. Stereotyped and distorted claims about “moralism and conformity” drive many to explore paths that promise more personal freedom but only deliver another kind of “law” as all cross-less hope is bound to do. Thankfully, confusion cannot silence the voice of thoughtful and bold congregations. Loving churches that are committed to the proclamation and incarnation of the Gospel can break through bias and fear with the truth and freedom of the Gospel (John 8.31-32).

Involve/Advocate. Thankfully, good work is done across the world by men and women who live out the law of God written on their hearts. But Christ is the true advocate and his incarnation the true involvement. New congregations can join people from every faith, or no faith, in the work of justice and mercy. But, in Christ we can do more than advocate or change circumstances. A Church with sound theology a practical vision for the community (James 1.27) can actually transform individuals from within and bring the life Christ to their families and community.