I’ve been involved in some half-dozen new church starts over the last two decades, and sat through many zoning hearings, requests for variances, and community meetings, in all of which you’ll meet many “neighbors” (most of whom don’t even live within a stone’s throw of your proposed project) who will object to “possibilities” such as child care centers, day cares, food pantries, letting homeless people sleep in your structure, feeding activities from soup kitchens to even potluck suppers.I hate to say it but I tend to agree with the church NIMBYs on some of these things and I've added emphasis to highlight them.
I know, I know, isn't this what churches are supposed to be doing?
Well I think churches should be thinking about the community where they live and figuring out how these things really work. Modern homelessness is not caused by poverty, it's mostly caused by addiction. That means, you set up a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter at your church and you draw a concentration of addicts to that neighbourhood. There are people trying to raise children, trying to take care of their homes and trying to protect their property. What is so Christian about imposing that on your neighbours?