As part of my recent Theology of Ministry paper I’ve been doing some continued cultural analysis of Burleson in particular and US Suburbs in general. Christ Journey folks will likely remember the recent series we participated in regarding living missionally and navigating the suburban wilderness (based in part on the book Death by Suburb). Through this series we attempted to highlight BOTH the blessings (there are plenty) and potential toxins (there are plenty) of suburban life.
We do not believe, as is popular to espouse right now, that to be a truly committed missional Christian you must move to the city, nor do we . We honor those who are dedicated to urban renewal and to whatever degree we can further those efforts we certainly want to help. However, understanding suburbia has remained a topic of interest for Chris and I as we continually seek to serve as missionaries and equippers of church planters in this particular context.
There has been a good deal written about the “death of the suburban experiment.” Much of which is based on concepts I heartily affirm: rejection of consumer culture and indiscriminate greed, a call to actual community as opposed to cookie-cutter psuedo-connections, a reclaiming of local character and culture, a desire to be better stewards of resources and the environment, etc. However, sometimes this rhetoric seems to be more politically motivated than I would like and is often focused on the current trendy-ness of urban life.
I stumbled across an interesting article today that I thought I’d share. It doesn’t give a whole lot of insight on the value and potential benefits of suburbia (which can be found through David Fitch, Todd Heistand, Tom Sine and others). Instead this is merely a closer examination of slanted statistics that have been presented in support of urban growth and suburban decline.