Mega-marts push business to the suburbs. Churches follow suit. Homebuyers flock to cookie-cutter subdivisions. City edges keep expanding. Our world is changing. In the midst of all this is a growing desire to revitalize downtowns all over America. Columbia is no different. Disgruntled suburbans are moving back. Entrepreneurs are reopening doors. “The District” is thriving. People hang there. People shop there. People study there. But the church is absent. And so is the gospel.
Imagine a community of faith that sinks her roots deeply into the “The District,” resolving to engage and serve the culture. See her answering the city’s questions. See her touching the downtown’s hurts. Watch her being a force for good and blessing in the center of the city. Picture a church that proclaims the glory of God and the wonder of the gospel, without compromise, within that culture. Imagine a church that shatters stereotypes by proclaiming truth, while also living with compassion. See the grace of God being proclaimed and being lived out by members of a closeknit, loving community.
Imagine that church being concerned less with becoming another super-center, and more about growing the kingdom of God. See a community of faith that trains her own within her midst, through an on-campus institute, and sends Christians out to start churches and reach cultures. See a city changed— from the inside-out. This is the Karis vision.