10 years ago, when I felt God call me to plant a church on a Council Estate (which I was born and raised on), hardly any Christians seemed to be talking about Council Estates. Recently however, it appears to have become one of the 'in things' to talk about. In these discussions, I have heard a number of things said about people from Council Estates that just don't make sense to me. Here are some of the things I have heard, that I just haven't experienced in my Council Estate, or in our church:
1) People from council estates don't read
2) People from council estates don't like expository sermons
3) People from council estates cannot engage with the biblical text well
4) People from council estates would never go to a middle /upper class church
5) Council estate people will only be won to the gospel if people change the lingo they use
6) People from council estates need to see miracles to be saved
7) People from council estates learn differently
BTW This is by no means an exhaustive list, this is just off the top of my head.
Any of you who have visited our church, or met us at conferences, know that these things are certainly not true of our church (all of our members were born and raised and still live on council estates).
From the many conversations I have had - it appears that a lot of the above points come about from people (outside of council estates) trying to answer the question:
"Why are there so few conservative evangelical churches in council estates"
This is indeed an important question. My concern however is that people are jumping to unfounded conclusions.
I'm therefore going to start writing blog posts about this topic, "Council Estate Christians." Hopefully this will help destroy some of the stereotypes of people from Council Estates, and help people get to understand Council Estates better.
If there are any Council Estate Christians out there, please contact me so that I can consider your experiences in these posts.