I remember having a discussion with a pastor of one of the largest churches in Calgary. He thought it was a strength of the church that people had to drive to each other to have their small groups. Somehow this showed a higher level of commitment. I wonder if this was merely his attempt to legitimize a commuting culture in his very large church.

I suggested to him there’s possibly a deeper level of community to be had if you can walk and stay in your neighborhood.

The question remains, is he right?

Is commuting to gatherings indicative of ‘better’?

He’s right, it certainly does highlight the investment church folks have for each other–their relationships. But this practice detracts from neighborhood culture, replacing it with an insular church culture that encourages Christians to stick with Christians even if you have to drive across the city. This also quietly supports the ‘us vs. them’ dichotomy where Christians only interact with the ‘them’ in outreach events put on by the church.

Is this merely a pragmatic response? Or is this a more pervasive outcome of suburban church culture?