By Kelly Carr
I held a number of stereotypes about city living and its residents until I moved to the city over a decade ago. But my perspective is different now. During my time here, I’ve experienced some of the most memorable activities and have developed some of my strongest friendships.
Many first think of those who are impoverished or homeless living in the city; they do live here, but there is a wide span of demographics living here also. In our neighborhood, on one end of the street there is government housing and on the other end of the same street there are grand homesteads. One block I may not go down at night because of drug deals that happen there, but on the next block is a park where families of all types gather to play.
Our residence and the church we planted sits right in the middle of this. We have church members who struggle with mental illness and struggle to make ends meet; we have members with several educational degrees and are high-level executives at their companies. We minister to people who are lapsed churchgoers finding their way back. We minister to people who have shunned the idea of God their whole lives.
I’ve tried so many new things in the city. Each day I see a variety of faces and walks of life. Close living quarters allow me to bump into and rely upon people who are different than me—people I never would have met if I didn’t live in the city. I’m glad I’ve gotten a new point of view, and I hope you find that this week’s articles about city living, city ministry, and city value offer you new insight too.