In 1992 I began attending meetings at an intentional Christian community in a poor, urban neighborhood near The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. While this ministry was founded in the 70s with one-on-one Bible study with students, being in such a neighborhood led to more than just a focus on college students.
The major components that I found were:
This intentional community had a unique strength and witness compared to other churches in Columbus.
Recently I read a book about the Moravians (see home page). I was impressed with the similarities between them and the community near Ohio State. Sadly, the intentional community near Ohio State no longer exists, though thankfully some people still meet there and are a big help to the neighborhood children and adults.
A 24x7 intentional community has so much to offer! Have a 24x7 open door and the children (and others) will come. Most of these children are fatherless, so serving them is indeed "pure religion."
Ohio State has one of the largest single campus enrollments
in the nation with over 50,000 students and 17,000 faculty and
staff. Twenty years ago (1990) the Lord brought me here to
do work for him at Ohio State (see the main
and ask for the ministry newsletter for more details) and that was
confirmed with two months of prayer by the believers at the local
assembly where I was a member.
For many years I have lived near Plain City which is about 25 miles from Ohio State. There are about a dozen Mennonite churches in that area, as well as two Mennonite K-12 schools and a Bible College. Between 1970 and 1991 there was a large children's home (Sunnyhaven Children's Home) in that community.
My vision is to again see an intentional community near Ohio State, as well as a second ("sister") community in the country (maybe near Mechanicsburg or Irwin?). The "country" community probably should also have its own mission focus. Having two "sister" communities in two extremely different environments would seem to provide a lot of additional advantages.
I am not a leader. I do not think the Lord will have me be a leader. But I know what I have seen as examples, and I am familiar with the situation around here. I think that living in an intentional community provides many benefits, including serving others more efficiently.
My prayer is that the Lord would raise up leaders and workers for this (and other) harvest fields. Please pray about this, and contact me with your thoughts and suggestions, or to discuss this vision in more detail.
Written by Paul (helper, not leader) - Nov. 2005 (updated Oct. 2008 & June 2010)
New! Ministry to international students has also been an interest and priority for the past sixteen years. There is another neighborhood near OSU that has been on my heart a lot for the past several years. This neighborhood has the highest concentration of international families. Maybe the Lord would have a mission community work in this neighborhood? Please contact me to discuss this further. Update: I moved to this neighborhood in Sept. 2008.
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