In a recent video City Nerd has organized and ranked a list of ten cities by livability. The metrics used were: home values(Zillow home value index), transit supply(national transit database), walk & bike score ratings, free way miles per capita, cultural amenities, connectivity, weather, and cost of living. The video offered great insights on these cities! The list is as follows:
10. New York City
8. St. Louis
4. New Orleans
The data used to compile this list is wonderful and has several implications for ministry. He was going for livability rating but I dare to equate livability with "churchability." Clearly church planting is an operation that is reliant on God and his power but there are certain things and parameters that may make ministry easier in a specific contexts. For example, Jesus states that wealth can make believe harder(Matthew 19:24, Luke 18:25) thus the implication would be going to a less affluent area may be easier. My goal is to correlate this list and the metrics used with considerations for ministry in said cities.
Walkability may correspond to an easier time with evangelism as meeting people may be easier. It would also increase the effectiveness of signage. It would also allow the church to be more community based due to the fact people are unable to move as far with a car.
Connectivity will allow for a hub or network to be started easier. It would also beautifully facilitate future ministry growth across a region.
Property value being lower would allow for support to used for more and further stretched. The lower cost in rent or building price would allow for more facilities, increased outreach, and the ability to do more.
A lower cost of living can also help new believers grow faster. It was the cares of this life that strangled out new growth in the parables Jesus taught. It is also covetousness and love of money that hurt so many trying to serve Jesus.
Although this list is not perfect and any ministry in a city should move forward in prayer, it definitely helps! I hope that you would join me in prayer over theses cities.
"Father thank you for your grace. You are so so good! Thank you for loving the masses and cities. Lord open doors to serve you in our cities. Please help and embolden churches there. God I pray that you would send people who will share you to the cities. Amen."