When it comes to real estate, the old cliche of location, location, location is king. Your location matters. There is a corner near my house that no matter what restaurant goes into that corner, it never survives. I’m sure you have something like that in your city.
The same is true for churches.
Not only in terms of space and what kind of ministry you can do, but what and who is around you.
If you attend or lead a church, I want you to think for a minute about where your church is located and who is around that location. The people who live there, are they old or young? Hipster or middle age? Are they wealthy, middle class, below the poverty line, or a mixture? Think in terms of nationality and ethnic backgrounds.
It is easy to overlook this as a church and keep humming along.
A good missionary, though, thinks about who is around them.
Now the second question: Who are you as a church and as a leader best suited to reach?
This is a hard question and can feel like you are picking and choosing who to reach (which you aren’t). You are simply asking who you are as a leader and who your church is.
Often God lines up who we are with where we are.
I have a friend who planted a church in a bilingual community where almost everyone lives below the poverty line. Why? He grew up in a community like that and understood the struggles. I have another friend who planted in one of the most suburban places in America. Why? He grew up in one of the most suburban places in America and understood the idols and struggles of that community.
Here is the tricky part: What if who you are best suited to reach is not where your church is?
This happens to older churches who watch a neighborhood change around them.
You have two options at this point: one, change things to reach those around you, or two, move to where those people and cultures live.
The question a leader and a church must answer is which path to take. Both can be right.
While this is something church planters and missionaries think through as they embark on their leadership, this is something churches and pastors must continually consider as their church grows and ages. This is being a good missionary as a leader, and as your city changes it will mean some changes to your church and maybe even some hard decisions.