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West Coast tech moves east

West coast tech moves east, The Antioch Report

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During the pandemic, the country divided for reasons related to a broad range topics: jobs that allowed WFH, pay wages, mask mandates, political factions, racial discrimination, religious affiliation… and more. 

With so many workers moving to a remote working environment, the draw to home relocation began to appeal to people all over the place, especially for tech workers who lived in extremely expensive cities on the West Coast.

After all, why not relocate to Texas or Virginia or South Carolina, substantially reduce your cost of living, but continue making exorbitant FAANG salaries? So a lot of tech employees did exactly that.

Not only that, but tech companies started searching far and wide for talent, instead of within a simple 50 mile radius. “Silicon Valley” became more of an idea than a physical location.

As more people in your church pews (or folding chairs if you’re non-denominational and renting out a high school gym) happen to be WFH movers, church culture and philosophy has likely shifted. We wrote on that topic earlier this month.

You might live in an area where a lot of people have recently (in the last two years) transplanted from some other part of the country. If that describes your church, then there is likely a mixture of culture that makes your church resemble the first century church, maybe a bit more than you were prepared for.

Mixing culture in a church audience is reminiscent of what happened at Pentecost when people from every nation gathered and become followers of Jesus together.

When the Holy Spirit was first poured out to the Gentiles (Acts 10), there was widespread confusion about how to deal with the new, inclusive kingdom of God on earth. Should the Gentiles become Jews first? What about circumcision? How should this new sect called “The Way” integrate people of different skin colors, backgrounds, and political ideologies?

As people continue moving at alarming rates (and further than past generations normally did, where entire families more frequently stayed in their hometown), people of all types will continue to mingle and integrate within our churches.

What gave the early church a chance at unity together (though they were very different from one another) was their ultimate desire to cling to the Gospel and not to their own self identity. They didn’t strip their culture completely, but they rewrote their identities. They were followers of Jesus first. Everything else became secondary to that primary identity. 

So as churches begin to form melting pots of cultures, remember that cultural differences can exist within a unified church body, but the Gospel should be the primary center of all that we do.
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Daniel Berk

Daniel Berk

Daniel Berk is the Managing Editor at The Antioch Report. A student and teacher of the Bible, he is a lover of theology, church history, and... TV. Follow him on Twitter @danielcberk. Daniel and his wife Courtney reside with their Bernedoodle in Charleston, SC.

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