urban exile: suburban vs. urban church politics

My monthly column for Leadership Journal went up this morning.

As on any other Tuesday, my wife and I hosted our weekly small group on Election Day of 2004. A quick scan of the TV stations after the Bible study showed that we’d have to wait until the next day to learn the results. “Just pray that John Kerry doesn’t win,” said one of the members on his way out that November night. Over early morning coffee a few weeks later another church friend expressed his relief that George Bush would serve a second term as president.

More recently, after a pizza dinner with some volunteers from church, someone asked where Barak Obama’s home was. Soon a small caravan was driving through Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood to see the house of what many of these volunteers hoped would be the next president. A few weeks later I watched one of our worship leaders tactfully cover her Obama t-shirt with a jacket before our Sunday service began.

What happened between 2004 and the current election season to account for this shift in the political sensibilities of our community? Maybe the political priorities of some folks have changed. Maybe churchgoers feel taken for granted by the “Grand Old Party.” Or perhaps Americans, including those within the Evangelical tradition, are just ready for change.

Or maybe not. What changed was that between these two elections we moved from an established suburban church to a 6-year old-church plant in Chicago. And that, as they say, has made all the difference…

Read the rest at Out of Ur.

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