CULTURE... the air we breathe, the atmosphere around us, the inescapable viewpoint of our people. It shapes who we are, what we do, and how we think.
In a parable by American author David Foster Wallace, two young fish swimming are greeted by another fish who says, “Morning boys, how’s the water?” Perplexed, the young fish look at each other and one asks, “What the heck is water?”
So too, we are often oblivious to the immersion we have in our own culture. It engulfs the world we live in, numbing us to it's impact on our lives. We cannot escape culture, and as Christians, I think it a sin to attempt to escape it. We aren’t to escape culture, we are to impact culture.
However, the truth in our city is that oftentimes the areas creating culture are the areas void of a gospel-driven church. Take Aksarben/midtown, for instance. The midtown area of our city is home to the largest university in the city (over 15,000 students), Stinson Park and Midtown Crossing (hosts of concerts, art shows, farmers markets and more), UNMC (the most respected hospital in Nebraska), the Blackstone District (the newest entertainment hub in our city), historic neighborhoods (Elmwood Park, Happy Hollow, Morton Meadows, Field Club), and two Fortune 500 Companies (Mutual of Omaha and Kiewit).
Yet, in an area of our city that is creating the culture we are driven by, statistics show a decline in church attendance and overall Biblically based churches in general. With the rapid decline of a gospel presence, the culture will continue to move with no admiration for the glory of God or affections for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without the church stepping in to engage the culture, we will continue to see a decline in midtown Omaha, and Nebraska. The heart of the city needs the heart of the gospel.
For this reason, we propose Providence Church. A Biblically-centered, God-exalting, gospel-preaching, missional church in the heart of the city to begin to transform the city.
We long for a church that doesn't stray from the culture-creators, but engages them. We long for a church that doesn’t run towards sameness, but celebrates diversity. We long for a church that doesn’t fear people’s approval, but lives in awe of God. We long for a church that doesn’t care for it’s own reputation, but cares deeply for the Name of Jesus. We long for a church that doesn’t exist solely for itself, but exists for the city.
We long for this church to be Providence Church.