Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Church and Proximity

My ministry mentor and close friend recently moved about 30 minutes away from our church building. It got me thinking about the connection between proximity and the sense of community. Most of our pastoral staff and elders live within 10 minutes of the church property, but a few live clear across town or in other cities. When Katie and I were house hunting, we didn't really look beyond 10 minutes from the church area, but there are some great neighborhoods 15 minutes south of us within our price range.

Blog readers, how close do you live to your church's property? What are the factors in your decision to choose this church over a closer/farther church? If you work at the church, how does this affect your decision? I can see the value of choosing to live closely (save on gas, kids go to the same schools as others in the church, can more easily invite neighbors, involved in the community) and living further away (branching out into the farther communities, can't afford the neighborhoods around the church property, spouse's job location, quality of nearby schools).

Leave a comment, I'm quite curious.


  1. We tried to make a really good "close" church work for more than 3 years because the location was ideal. After 3 years of feeling like we were still waiting for confirmation that it was our "home", we tried one last church that is further away. We had originally discounted it because of the distance. From day 1, it was "home". I think sometimes we get caught up in over thinking the logistics, which in turn makes us not hear God's voice as clearly. So many times, things that make "sense" to our pea sized human brains, are not the path that an infinite God would have us take.

  2. We live about 10-15 minutes from the church depending on traffic. I really like it. We've lived both closer and further at different churches we've been at. And each house we've been in has been great ... you make it work.

    This distance has been the best of both worlds ... not too far, not too close. Lots of the staff lives very close which makes it really easy to get together. And it has been great for the kids to have friends that are at church and school.

  3. I've thought a lot about this lately actually. Aaron and I are finally starting to get closely connected to people at the Vancouver Imago Church. But with mom moving down to our area, we've been looking around at property. Some of it is way out in Battleground, Amboy, Washougal, etc. I remember how great it was that we lived 5 minutes from church, and that we were so involved that it seemed like our church family was even more real than our real extended family. What happens when we move away to get space and acres of property and therefore are too far away to go to weekly home communities, worship practicies or other church functions. What is more important. Life at home? Or life at church. I suppose everyone has to come up with their own opinion on that one.

  4. Good question, Nate and I live 30 minutes away from Cornerstone and we did try to sell our home and move to Chandler a year ago, but we all know how that goes, the market, well not so much. I LOVE our home and it is right down the street from RMCC where we moved when we first came to Mesa to work there. We have lived here for almost 10 years and I love this area. We drive the 202 loop ALOT and I would say that having teens in this season of life that can drive really helps. This enables them to go and see their friends. Anyway, in some ways I like being 30 minutes away and in other ways, I would like to be closer. It is hard to connect with people, but that makes the effort need to be that much more intentional. We love to host and entertain.

  5. Anonymous, it's totally true that God works in some unexpected ways!

    Lori, we're at the 10-15 minute mark too, which we've also enjoyed. Not too close, not too far, and within walking distance of the movie theater for me! :)

    Amanda, that's a great question: life at church or life at home? Or can we seek both?

    Trudy, the Loop 202 has probably saved you guys tons of time! :)