Are greater things yet to come in the suburbs?
During the past decade or so, one of the most interesting demographic trends in American evangelicalism has been the relocation of its leadership from suburbia to center cities. Just 10 years ago, you would have chosen James Dobson’s Colorado Springs, Rick Warren’s Orange County, and the Wheaton-Willow Creek axis in Chicagoland as the epicenters of evangelical activity—suburbs or exurbs all.
Now, the shepherds are heading to big cities: Mark Driscoll’s Seattle, Louie Giglio’s Atlanta, and, of course, New York—home to Tim Keller, Eric Metaxas, Gabe Lyons, Carl Lentz, Greg Thornbury, Jon Tyson, and others. Some key leaders still minister outside of the metropolis, but the trend is unmistakable.
If your city didn’t make that list of hot spots, just wait. San Francisco may be the next evangelical darling: The pastor of the largest Acts 29 church in Phoenix recently left the desert to plant a work in the Bay Area, and Francis Chan left his post at a suburban megachurch for ministry in San Francisco. Down the coast in Los Angeles, two mammoth evangelical brands—Saddleback and Hillsong—are coming to Tinseltown this year.
Read the rest at WORLD.