Writer Nate J. Lee, responding to a video put out by Hillsong church to announce their intention to plant a church in San Francisco (including the phrases “God has great plans for this city” and “San Fran, the best is yet to come!”), wrote this: “Any kind of language that implies that God’s work or God’s plan starts when we arrive … is indicative not only of terrible theology, but of white Christian exceptionalism, the oppressive belief that the correct kind salvation and healing can only be facilitated through us, on our terms with our methods—and us always happens to be white missionaries, white pastors, and white churches.”
The whole article hit home for me. As someone who works for church with a multi-campus model, I’m finding that it’s easier to go into an area that is on an economic upward swing and launch a campus, then go into an area that has little economic viability.
This creates a problem by which these new campuses are contributing to an ongoing systemic problem. While I believe these churches are well-resourced and well-intentioned, I think they don’t realize the damage they’re perpetuating.