“A luxury apartment complex? You can’t practice missional living there. They don’t need help.”
That was the challenge. That was the question and assumption running through my mind every time I drove past the apartment complex that now includes our Savannah House.
I had experienced and seen examples of missional living on college campuses, in impoverished neighborhoods, in middle-class suburbia and in many different contexts, but never in an upscale apartment setting.
“What would it look like for us to house urban missionaries in this setting in our own backyard?” I continually asked.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Young Clergy Initiative (given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church), and a partnership with the Missional Wisdom Foundation, we, at Christ United Methodist Church, have embarked on a journey to find out.
For the past year we have housed three young women in what we’ve named The Savannah House. Each of these residents is discerning the call of God on their life to pursue vocational ministry in some form or fashion. Click here to read more about the goals of The Savannah House from a post I wrote when we were initially moving our residents in.
What we’ve come to learn is that injustice exists in a variety of forms, in a variety of contexts. While the residents of this particular apartment complex may not be struggling financially, there is plenty of loneliness and relational injustice that expresses itself in the form of closed doors and skeptical stares. By embodying the neighborly love of Christ, our Savannah House residents are living an alternative narrative of hospitality in a world that says, “I’m okay by myself.”
I invite you to watch this 7:23 video to grasp the impact of what God is doing through this missional experiment:
It’s my prayer that our experiment might inspire yours. When you find yourself asking, “I wonder if this could ever work?” pertaining to the Kingdom of God, what’s the harm in trying? Go for it! And get ready to see what God has in store.