#45. Grieving Lost Community: Pastoring through Gentrification

Should a church move when many of its congregants no longer live nearby? What should a church do if it’s neighborhood experiences drastic change?

While economic and demographic changes are clearly visible in a gentrifying neighborhood, the unseen effects of trauma on those originally in the community are often overlooked.

Dr. Mark Strong shares how pastors can help their churches process, grieve, and move forward despite the significant impact gentrification has left on their community.

Dr. Strong also reveals how to decide where a church building should be located and how to have a healthy approach to the physical building of your church. He tells the miraculous story of raising $100,000 in one day for an additional church location.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to lead a congregation through drastic neighborhood changes
  • How to choose the location of your church or church plant
  • What causes gentrification

About the Guest (see script for reference as starting point, 3-4 paragraphs): 

Mark E. Strong (DMin, Portland Seminary) is senior pastor of Life Change Church, a diverse congregation located in the heart of inner-city Portland, Oregon. His book, Who Moved My Neighborhood? Leading Congregations through Gentrification and Economic Change, responds to the drastic demographic shifts in Life Change Church’s neighborhood.

Dr. Strong serves on the Board of Regents at George Fox Seminary, and his books include Church for the Fatherless and Divine Merger. He is also the founder of Father-Shift, a ministry that addresses the needs of the fatherless epidemic affecting our world.

He and his wife, Marla, have four children.

Links Related to Episode:

Timestamped Show Notes:

03:10 – From the M Strongs

04:46 – Family Alliterations

06:26 – Why “Who Moved My Neighborhood”

10:12 – Causes of Gentrification: Economic Disparity in Cities

12:47 – NYC Gentrification

17:15 – What Should A Church Do When Its Neighborhood Changes?

22:05 – 7 Phase Process for Working Through Gentrification

22:11 – Remember

23:13 – Recognition

24:17 – Realization

25:15 – Reconstruction

25:53 – Rage

29:43 – Reconciliation

31:46 – Revamp

33:14 – Should a church move if no one lives nearby?

35:20 – How is God leading your church?

37:33 – Israel’s Identity in the Land

38:38 – Ministry Calling Can Change

39:58 – Mapping the Future: What’s Our Vision?

40:59 – Church Buildings Should Serve, Not Limit, Your Mission

41:41 – Vision = Money?

45:47 – This is GOD

46:13 – One Day to Raise $100,000

49:14 – Encouragement to Pastors

50:29 – How to Contact Dr. Strong

51:23 – Joke: Too Much Almond Milk?

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