CBS Sunday morning told a story about a community in Georgia that has as its centerpiece a 26 acre farm. The idea of an "agrihood" (a city or community that has at it's center a farm) is a thing that is popping up more and more around the United States as people embrace locally-grown food and a more robust experience on community with neighbors.
Steve Nygren, the developer of the Georgian agrihood, described this movement towards farm and community when he said, "People love the idea of sitting on their back porch and watching the farmers grow the food." I would add, they also love knowing where the food they are eating comes from.
Watching the story gave me an idea. How about an agrihood that also has at it's center a church? How about building a community where Christians come together to live and worship. It would be a place to build a foundation for launching out service and love to the world?
I 'm not talking about a seperatist cult where Christians withdraw and condemn the world. I'm talking about the modeling here on earth of what life looks like in heaven. I'm talking about creating a place where people are loved, cared for, welcomed, encouraged and transformed.
The farms previewed by the CBS story are professionally run farms. The people have to come and buy the food. They have to go out in the world and work real jobs and interact with real people. It's not a utopian dream, but it is about being intentional about bringing people together to rub shoulders, share food, and share stories. And I can see a place where the farm and the church are at the very center of it all.
I think it would be beautiful.