I live in a city of nearly 1 million people.
I prayerwalk the 3 neighborhoods regularly and have discovered a few observations:
- Less than 5 churches in the entire area.
- Condominium towers from 4 stories to over 50 stories.
- Very popular night clubs and restaurants.
- Streets known for hookers at night.
- A smattering of single family houses.
- Lots of office buildings
- Lots of pedestrian traffic during the weekdays.
- Very empty on the weekends.
- Residents generally middle to upper middle class.
Apartment towers have 24 hour security and access to them is by being buzzed in by a resident.
High density housing even among single family houses means that your next door neighbor’s wall is likely less than 3 feet away if not directly attached as row houses.
Single family houses are hidden behind walls and gates. Windows and doors are covered with iron bars painted to match the color scheme of the house. Border walls have razor wire or broken glass in the cement to keep people from walking on them. Some families have their own private security guard that sits at the entrance.
Privacy and fortress like security is a key description of housing in our neighborhoods.
As we people watch in some three or four parks, we see families, lots of children, and nannies. The parks begin to fill up with people as the afternoon wears on, and the sun starts to set.
Live-in nannies are common in our part of town who are likely receiving salaries of about $300-400 a month.
Some parks seem to attract more children with their parents. One park seems only to attract the nannies and children. It’s an observation to keep watching.
Questions in our mind
- How do we build relationships with our neighborhood?
- How can we discover the community needs as we are in the parks?
- What kinds of park-based outreaches can we do to start ministering to the need?
Would you join us in prayer as we seek to discern this? We are participating in Launching a New Church in the city and this is part of our prayerful discernment about our neighborhoods.