“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” (St. Augustine)
Rethinking North American Missions
Geography influences how and where most churches are planted. When we think about international missions there's a propensity and compulsion to go, serve, and give our lives among the least and the last. Obviously this is an overstatement, but the point is this: we really don't hesitate to think about giving our lives away in the slums over there.
So how we do change the narrative? How do we do here what we do over there? That's where we start talking about start-ups and how it is connected with church planting.
What would it look like to plant churches here like we do over there?
"In my opinion it's not the end of the world if you don't make it to the top. All those things, the journey and the process of making it happen are just as important as if you summited." (Hans Rey, mountain bike adventurer)
Church Planting + Community Development
The idea behind Intrepid is to start a network / strategy that focuses on starting churches in neglected communities, whether in cities or rural settings. However, this goes beyond merely church planting as we have come to define it in North America. Intrepid is viewed through the interpretive lens of international missions. In other words, we want to send missionaries into these communities who not only start churches, but are focused on economic and community development in the form of being entrepreneurs who start businesses (e.g. bike shops, coffee shops, etc) as well as non-profits. These overlooked and neglected communities could house the growing suburban poor or the not-interested-in-church cultural creatives in the urban core.
CHURCH PLANTING + COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT = GOSPEL RENEWAL
Our two-pronged approach to mission is to couple together church planting with community development. This is nothing new nor a new strategy. But this defines who were are and our approach to church planting. When we go into a community (or mobilize people and teams to go into communities) we want to see the gospel proclaimed and lived out, new believers gathered together for worship, instruction, and modeling as part of the discipleship process, and we want to benefit and be an asset to the community whether that be an urban neighborhood, small city, or small town. That is accomplished by starting new businesses or non-profits and even helping shape or improve urban form or the built environment of the city.