Who Moved My Neighborhood?
 

Who Moved My Neighborhood?

Leading Congregations Through Gentrification and Economic Change

by Mark E. Strong
Foreword by Harold Calvin Ray

Who Moved My Neighborhood?
paperback
  • Length: 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: March 08, 2022
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0238-4
  • Item Code: A0238
  • Case Quantity: 60

Neighborhoods are moving. While neighborhood changes can mean exciting and fresh opportunities for some, the experience can be vastly different for long-time residents. The rapid movement of people means changes in employment, economics, landscape, demographics, and the feel of a community. Churches often experience the painful impact of these shifts. Depending on how a church navigates through these changes determines if it will either live, die, or be reduced to a tragic existence on life support.

Mark Strong knows the obstacles connected with gentrification and the challenges it brings. As a pastor, he led his church through its own moved neighborhood in Portland. Strong shares the frustrations, surprises, and joys that his church experienced as their neighborhood shifted, and he provides the roadmap that his own church used to navigate the change. Who Moved My Neighborhood? gives insight to churches that need to heal from the wounds of gentrification and economic change, and revamp their mission amidst an uncertain future. Using the discussion guide included in the book, churches can discuss their own moved neighborhood and explore the unique next steps that God has for their community. There is hope and a future for congregations that face a moved neighborhood.

"Dr. Mark Strong is an example of strength and leadership to me and my church community, even serving on our board of directors, and as is his bent, he's produced a book to help strengthen and lead pastors and churches through significant changes. Who Moved My Neighborhood? acknowledges the pain and sorrow that can come with a changing neighborhood, provides keys for processing through it, and offers incredible guidance and practical steps for trusting God for the future. Any faith-based community facing the impacts of gentrification or economic change will be inspired, encouraged, and energized by the wisdom and shared journey present in Who Moved My Neighborhood?"

Judah Smith, lead pastor of Churchome, Kirkland, Washington

"As someone who witnessed the slow gentrification process around Life Change Church, and as someone who heard the deep soul-searching conversations the pastors and leaders had, I urge every church leader to read this book. If this isn't happening to you, it's surely happening to a church nearby, and if this is happening to you, Pastor Strong's practical leadership principles and warm spiritual wisdom will guide your church to a future with healing and hope."

MaryKate Morse, author and executive dean, Portland Seminary

"My friend Mark Strong and his folks at Life Change Church have navigated the struggles of gentrification here in Portland, Oregon, and have done so with grace and prophetic vision. Who Moved My Neighborhood? offers practical and faithful insights for churches struggling with the inevitable challenges that develop as our communities change. Healing, hope, and great impact are possible!"

Kevin Palau, president of the Luis Palau Association

"US census data shows ethnic diversity increasing almost everywhere in the country. One key exception is urban areas of most large cities that have been historically African American, which are seeing a dramatic increase in their White population. This return to the city has brought escalating rental rates and property taxes, forcing longtime residents to find new homes outside the cities. These shifts take a great toll on the churches that have been the heart and soul of these communities. Dr. Mark Strong has pastored one of those churches in Portland, Oregon—the most gentrified city in America. He has learned ways to navigate the change in his neighborhood that have enabled Life Change Church to help change the lives of both the gentrifiers moving into the city and the longtime attenders who made their way to the suburbs. Strong has coached other churches with these principles, enabling them to stay on mission even when their neighborhood moved. If you are a pastor in a neighborhood whose residents are moving or want to gain life principles for navigating change, this book is for you."

Alan Ehler, dean of Southeastern University's Barnett College of Ministry and Theology, author of How to Make Big Decisions Wisely

"A timely and prophetic word on the ongoing injustices of race and place in America, from one of the most recognized leaders on the subject of gentrification."

Ken Wytsma, author of The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege
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CONTENTS

Preface

Part One: Navigating the Healing Process
1. Who Moved My Neighborhood?
2. Discovering the Healing Process
3. Regular
4. Recognition
5. Realization
6. Reconstruction
7. Rage
8. Reconciliation

Part Two: Mapping Your Future
9. Revamp
10. The Vision Question
11. The Identity Question
12. The Purpose Question
13. The Relational Question

Conclusion: Navigational Surprises
Appendix: Relational Jump-Starters
Navigation Guide: Discussion Questions

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Mark E. Strong

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. He is also the author of Church for the Fatherless, and he serves on the Board of Regents at George Fox Seminary. He and his wife, Marla, have four children.