To be in New Orleans is to feel its rhythm, its easy-going style, and its winsome love of celebration. Traditions are the heartbeat of the city, yet New Orleans is anything but traditional. Ministry in New Orleans – like the city – is rich and varied as God is at work in suburban church plants, in new works in “hard places,” and in congregations with an anywhere-in-America type feel. Regardless of where God’s call may lead, New Orleans is the right place to prepare.
BOOTS ON THE GROUND TRAINING’
From the Zydeco music of the bayou to the Creole cuisine on the table and its vibrant artistic soul, New Orleans simmers with colorful, divergent cultures. Together, they are a gumbo of people, customs, and ideas.
When it comes to beliefs about God, the same throw-it-all-together approach often holds true. Worldviews are often scrambled.
“Nobody mixes and matches like New Orleans does,” said George Ross (DMIN ’18), Assistant Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism and NAMB Send Missionary. “Some worldviews will be neat and well organized, but many will be ‘pushed together’ with a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.”
Knowing how to navigate today’s culture where beliefs are pieced together is vital, Ross said, and New Orleans is the right place to learn.
“There’s no better place to come and learn apologetic ministry which is a requirement in this post-Christian context,” Ross said. “New Orleans is where you get boots on the ground training.”
More than 70 neighborhoods make up the city, each with its own personality and style. Churches reflect their neighborhoods and may be suburban and traditional or urban and eclectic, with every variety in-between.
“You won’t find this anywhere else,” Ross said. “If you come here and serve in a church, you’re going to encounter those unique situations, have hands-on experience, and then have the privilege of being at a conservative, Bible-believing seminary to help you navigate that.”
As Ross tells church planters that are under his mentorship, “If you can plant a church in New Orleans, you can plant a church anywhere.”