One of the biggest cultural barriers we face is the emerging “glocal” context. We use this term to refer to the convergence of the global reality with our local reality. North America has become a “glocal community” requiring new strategies for effective ministry. When the church was the first choice of spiritual seekers, we just needed to be there. They knew we were here. Most people had friends who attended. All they needed to do was come…and they did. Now, we need more proactive strategies. We need to go to the people. Maybe we have lost ground because we have been thinking that they should just come to us. Now, we need methods and models that address the changing glocal context that is North America. People no longer think just locally; they think glocally…” Ed Stetzer and David Putman, Breaking the Missional Code

Whether you’re in the center of a metropolitan area, on the suburban edges, or on the exurbia fronteirs you feel the collision of the local with the global. Its in our supermarkets, on our TV reality shows, and in the virtural social networks of our kids. Its here and its emerging, for Stetzer and Putman it means change is here as well. To resurrect some older terms, the question still seems to be how will you balance being both a go and come missional community.

Going to people has taken on several forms from door to door evangelism, to passing out tracks and shouting on bull-horns, to having coffee and intimate conversation. The Glocal context demands being outwardly focused, and it demands a particular form of savvy-ness that acknowledges both the local flavors of your setting as well as the larger globalism that is impressing a new tone and set of values. People’s questions are changing, people’s assumptions are changing, sustaining a discourse that is biblical-theologically matured while remaining culturally nuanced is becoming more and more challenging.

Perhaps many of things we’re experienceing were true of the pre-colonial period where everything was new and missionaries hit the soil instead of homegrown pastors, though its as well different because what glocalism is calling for is home-grown-missionaries for a changing social-political-economic landscape. Home ain’t what it used to be…perhaps its time to open up some rooftop windows and get some of the fresh air blowing just outside. What do you think?

(Photographic art available @ Flickr,

The Group Gallery, piece entitled “Urban Abstract“)