Each of the six multifamily living spaces offers a unique ministry situation. Below are ministry resources that describe and discuss the multifamily living contexts.
The Key Church strategy recognizes cultural diversity in North America and presents the Christian message in a way that respects and communicates the indigenous concerns of different cultural groups. At the heart of the “key church strategy” is the belief that a church can be comprised of many congregations, meeting separately yet ministering together, in a variety of different settings—a strategy that has been adopted by 300 churches in 27 states. In the Foreword, Lyle E. Schaller calls it “one of the most innovative, practical, and effective approaches to outreach ministries I have encountered in nearly four decades of working with congregations.”
The classic book on the subject published by the Home Mission Board, SBC in 1993.
You are exploring something new. That is threatening, so I commend you for thinking radically. That is what Jesus led disciples to do. The situation has changed. The neighborhood is not like it was thirty years ago. America is not a Christian nation. There is no longer a churched culture from which to draw people to Christ. It is hard work. It takes much more than theatrics and visitation to lead people to Christ. In this culture, the Christian leader either feels like a failure or like a success. There is grave danger in both. We are desperate. We are struggling with how to reach our communities. There are evangelism strategies and plans. That may not be the problem. The real problem is that our towns do not look like they did. People live in different arrangements. Apartment living has become the arrangement of choice for many of our people. Students live in off campus housing, while senior adults are downsizing to patio home communities. Young professionals on the go don’t want to fix things or manicure lawns. Instead, they are looking for living arrangements that fit their lifestyles. The apartment offers what they want; no matter that they are not building equity. In our cities, over 50% of our people live in some form of multihousing community. Only 4% have any Christian connection.
Mission Arlington Story-- . . . Read the beginning of the most Successful Inner-City Missions Enterprise in Evangelical Church Life . . . An expression of the collective imagination of Christian men and women!
God is at work in the multihousing world. Owners and managers have put out the welcome mats for people who want to minister in their communities. People groups from all over the world are moving into multihousing. For many middle and upper income people, multihousing is becoming the preferred choice for housing because of shared amenities, community life, and price. In low income communities, people are crying out for someone to come and help them. As a follower of Christ, you have the opportunity to join God as He works to impact people who live in multihousing with the gospel. The vast number of people who live in multihousing may make it seem like an impossible assignment. Nevertheless, Jesus commands us to go to them. God is the Master of doing the impossible by using ordinary people to do extraordinary things!
Multihousing Ministry/Church Planting has come along way from the work begun in the 1980s. Onsite property managers knew very little about our work and had very little trust at that time. Churches also knew very little about how to manage to get onsite to be able to minister to the residents. The separation of church and state created a problem to both entities. As time went on, more and more multihousing personnel saw what a wonderful asset it was to have a good moral “Activities/Chaplaincy Group” ministering onsite. As conditions on properties improved and as fewer and fewer problems arose, managers began to spread the word that to work with Southern Baptists was a positive move. Twenty years later, we have ministry and church sites all over the country and hundreds of thousands of residents have been led to the Lord and discipled. Congregations have sprung up on properties remaining there for years and years. Sometimes the congregation changes in ethnic population, but the Christian presence stays strong. Maybe you have determined that your church or your association wants to reach out to this unreached people group which is one of the largest in our nation. Hopefully this training booklet will give you a place to begin. There is much more to say than these few pages permit but much of what is learned or taught is through OJT(On the job training). This booklet will give some practical steps.
In a world where the church is being ignored, it is time to bring the church to the people, and not the people to the church, says researcher and church strategy consultant Wolfgang Simson. His book Houses that Change the World (originally published in the UK) is widely recognized as a classic of the house church movement. Now revised as The House Church Book, this definitive work offers a comprehensive understanding of the past, present, and future of the house church movement --and the vital role of "ordinary" people in saturating the world with God's truth.