Here’s something that maybe Christians could lead the way in, revitalize our towns, our neighborhoods, and bring a sense of community back to our lives. Markets have survived for centuries in other places, and we all love Pike Place, Portland Saturday Market, Fisherman’s Wharf and the neighborhood markets which have begun to find their way back into other communities.
Go, read this article or at least glance at it.
Make sense? Not the entrepreneurial type? Don’t worry, we can all be excited for this!
For this of us here in the Portland area we’ve visited and love the food carts, well this idea is far more than just food carts. It would require changes in city codes, allowing for businesses to spring up and move around. Little stores where people can buy and sell things, literally niche stores.
Now, imagine these little stores distributed throughout our neighborhoods but backed by the Church, giving people work, and at the same time being an outreach to our communities through real tangible service. This could be a great way to activate our boring spaces and energize our neighborhoods with a neighborly feeling of “local store” again. It’s a little far-fetched, and definitely out of the box as far as the Church is concerned.
In our travels there are small little shops like this all over European cities and towns over time people come to know each other and create relationships, your local shop keeper becomes in a sense part of your community. It’s in these kinds of linking conduits that we can make connections that eventually become meaningful and thus open the doors to sharing the Gospel. Getting out in our communities is what the Church is always “told” to do – but honestly I don’t see it happening… probably because we have no reason… generally our communities in America are pretty boring (outside some city centers). If we had actual things to do, places to be, and people to see in our neighborhoods, we might, just might actually connect and begin making some differences.