Recently we all have been challenged in some shape or form about the idea of “local”. Local business, local school, local church and alkies. To summarize hundreds of statistics and posts, I’ll just say this: Local is no longer what we use to know as local.
Local use to be a geographical. 10-20 years ago, when we were referring to a local market, we would mean that we could possibly walk to it and buy our groceries. Today, with the advent of “supermarkets” there is no longer this luxury. Even though Wall Mart or Countdown is in your neighborhood, I can almost guarantee you do not have a personal relationship with the counter lady. It’s quite likely that she drives 30 or 40 minutes to get to work and lives as far away as east is from west.
Back in the days we would call “local” school, the school where our neighbors were the teachers. Today, not only that is almost inexistent, but in some cases, which is becoming the norm, the teacher is on the computer screen. Some go as far as home schooling their children… But wait a minute, “HOME” schooling is done nowadays online, and that guy Khan, is doing a great job, hence the 245,721,755 lessons delivered up until now as I write this post. If you don’t believe me, go to http://www.khanacademy.org and check it yourself. Local? Yeah, right!
Local Brands advertise: “Buy local”, while their products are being manufactured somewhere else in the world where they can cut costs in wages and make their products cheaper…
What about the local church? That is long gone. In times where a congregation gathers together and the preacher is on the screen! Via satellite! You may call it local, but local is the last thing that thing is!
Local is no longer geographical. I believe it’s fair to assume that the term local is now within the boundaries of common interests. Local now has to do with a group of people who seems to like similar things, like music styles, type of food, kind of sports, and they are gathered in this gigantic community called online, more specifically, Facebook, and its sub-groups, namely Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and etc. It’s easier than ever to find them. It’s easierthan ever to reach out to them, and it’s easier than has ever been before to develop a communication with them, because it’s virtually free. It’s an open channel, where you’re exposed to the world, through the click of a button, without moving from your chair. I love it!
Now wait a minute, this is not a critique! This, at least in my opinion, is good! Local has become global, and global has come local. It’s a new term, maybe we can call it “GLOCAL”. I’m sure I’ve seen this somewhere else before, probably posted by someone a lot smarter than me, but I can’t think of who or where that would be right now, I’m sorry.
I wrote all of this to finish with this thought. I live in a city with 1.5 million people. Almost 50% of this population is composed by immigrants. We love the diversity here. I see people who live on the north and go to university in the south of the city, they travel 40 minutes driving to go to their favorite restaurants, they wake up 1.5 hours earlier to go to their favorite church instead of going to the church around the corner for all different reasons, and I won’t go into this debate. You’re free to do whatever you want and you’re entitled to your right to make a choice. I know of churches where their leadership team is composed by North, South, East and West people, and that is awesome! With that in mind…
I’m planting a church, by the grace and mercy of God, and whilst is a local gathering in the mission bay suburb, I’ve given up on the exclusivity idea, meaning, having only local people involved. Why? Because that’s unrealistic! So, what does that have to do with you? I’ll put it simply: Would you like to be involved in planting a church? That’s your chance! Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk. And the good news is: You don’t have to live in Mission Bay. If you do, that’s great, if you don’t, that’s great too.
Well, I’m looking forward to hear from you. I need your help, and I’m sure God is calling some of you to respond. God bless