I was in a community program recently talking about regionalism.
Websters defines regionalism as:
1 a: consciousness of and loyalty to a distinct region with a homogeneous population
b: development of a political or social system based on one or more such areas
2: emphasis on regional locale and characteristics
This particular gathering was a regional leadership development program sponsored by regional economic development groups. We were representative of several adjoining counties trying to decide how we could work together better to promote the greater interests of everyone in the region.
We could promote each others activities for tourism. We could share information that helps each of us better compete globally. If one company is a better fit for another county than for ours, we could suggest the other county. We could realize that what is good for one county is good for the entire region.
Simple stuff but huge realities were shared.
People in economic development are thinking regionalism and it was fun to put my business and former political hat back on again.
But I couldn’t help but think, if people in economic development are thinking regionalism…
Would it even work?
Could churches do a better job in their regions if they came together for a common good?
I recognize some of the fears and hesitancy towards regionalism. The mixing and perhaps confusion of messages. The conflict of styles and traditions. The threat of a loss of individuality or control. The uniqueness of cultures.
I’m not suggesting it would be easy. Nothing really good ever is easy.
But, is regionalism something the church should consider?
That’s all I’m asking.
Maybe we could start by asking questions such as…
What are our shared values?
What are common goals?
What are initiatives we can do together?
How can your church help my church?
How can my church help your church?
Worth considering for the church?
Or am I bringing too much of my business background into the church again?