Tim Soerens: Reconnecting Churches with Their Neighborhoods

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This week on the Strong Towns Podcast, we’re kicking off the new year by featuring a special guest: Tim Soerens, author and co-founder of the Parish Collective. Last year, Chuck read Tim’s books The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community and Everywhere You Look: Discovering the Church Right Where You Are—and even recommended them to his priest!

If you’re not Christian or not religious, don’t worry: Tim’s not here to preach, but rather to talk about community, and the position of churches within a community. American society has become disconnected, consumer-driven, and sequestered to online spaces—and by extension, churches have become increasingly disconnected from the communities they’re meant to serve. Consequently, church attendance has been in decline for decades.

The Parish Collective was created in an attempt to address this problem. The Parish Collective is a network of place-based churches and small community groups who are all wrestling with the question of how to reconnect churches with their neighborhoods. Furthermore, they’re encouraging people to consider what part locally connected churches can play in the strengthening and holistic renewal of a place over time.

Strong Towns is, of course, a secular organization. Still, we love hearing about how faith communities and other groups are adopting a Strong Towns approach to tackling the problems in their neighborhoods. In that spirit we hope that you, too, will enjoy this first Strong Towns Podcast episode of 2022.

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