Over the last few years the word ‘evangelical’ has increasingly become understood as a political ideology not a spiritual one. For that reason, many people are abandoning evangelicalism.
So it’s fair to ask, is Good News in the Neighborhood an evangelical church?
I was raised, educated and discipled by a variety of conservative evangelical institutions. Evangelicalism as the large, broad coalition of white christianity in America was organized in the late 1940’s coalescing around the ministry of Billy Graham. Evangelicals wanted to hold to biblical truth as a contrast to the slippage they saw in mainline denominations. They also wanted an outward focus as a contrast to the insular fundamentalists.
Today the movement (which now claims 1/4 of christians worldwide) is framed around 4 ideas:
While these concepts can be studied + nuanced forever, they are pretty straight forward. Historically, evangelicalism focuses on:
the work of Jesus on the cross
a personal response to that work
a high regard for the book that tells it’s story
a commitment to tell as many people as possible about it
Do you nod your head as you read that list and wish evangelicals had stayed a little more focused on its main components?
I believe the church must make a critical shift in how these 4 concepts are executed and perceived to be viable for the generations ahead. Rather than badmouth others who got it wrong or something unprofitable like that, I have been thinking about a pivot. If we add to the good foundation, we might find some fresh wind in the sails of the church in America.
Anyway, I know that is a lot of words.
We are an evangelical church in the sense that we believe the things the evangelical church believes, but not in the sense of having a fixed political ideology.
– Luke MacDonald
Why we started
We want something good to happen in us, in our kids and in our neighborhoods.
We also grew up in the NW Suburbs of Chicago – it’s our home and we love it. Our desire is to reach our community in new and fresh ways and bring our timeless faith to generation z and beyond.
New and fresh ways means more fun and less grind; multi-ethnic and multi-generational; digitally thoughtful but unapologetically bringing people together in person.
It’s about offering gracious conversation wherever it’s welcome.
More focus on the day – today.
It means having a small facility so we are forced out into parks + malls + neighborhoods.
It’s a community that loves well + holds to the truth + reaches out a hand to an increasingly hostile world.
It’s a place where you can belong before you believe.
Rigorously biblical. Doing justice + loving mercy + walking humbly with Jesus.
A place that’s good news in the neighborhood…
-Pastor Luke and Kristen Macdonald
GOOD FOR EVERYONE
romans 12:16; galatians 6:10
GOOD TO EACH OTHER
john 13:35; galatians 6:1
GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES
2 timothy 2:15; colossians 3:16
GOOD FROM GOD
James 1:17; ecclesiastes 3:12-13
Founding Pastor Luke + Kristen Macdonald
We love the good news. We are giving our lives to trying to spread it. Our ministry passions are clear bible teaching, ethnic diversity, and growing our ability to truly love each other.
Previous to starting Good News in the Neighborhood, Luke was an associate pastor at faithful central bible church, a historic african american congregation in south los angeles. Before that, Luke was a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel for 13 years, serving as a youth pastor, helping start vertical worship, and leading many initiatives + ministries. He has degrees from Moody Bible Institute + Talbot School of Theology.
We are high school sweethearts who have grown up into partners in life and ministry. We are raising three lions and a princess – Carter (12), Reid (10), Graham (8) and Felicity (3).
Luke loves playing golf and a good book. Kristen loves hospitality + a long walk with a loved one. Our family loves sports, rooting hard for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears and Tottenham Hotspur.
Together we write a newsletter that drops every Saturday morning, ‘Good News Weekly.’
Co-Founder, Laura Weigle
Previous to starting Good News In The Neighborhood, Laura worked for 12+ years in corporate finance followed by 4 years in church ministry. In addition to being a small business owner, her expertise includes managing complex programs/projects, delivering excellence on-time and on-budget as well as managing creative teams.
Laura and her husband, Lucas, live with their two children in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Lucas loves old homes (he owns and operates a home inspection business), Talking Heads, and creating fun experiences for their kids. Laura loves reading, 90’s hip-hop, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Together, they love sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to old and new friends.
pastoral support team
we have met church leaders who inspire us from many different kinds of churches. we want to love + learn from all of them. the names listed here are friends who have graciously supported us by contributing wisdom, prayer, and/or finances to help good news in the neighborhood get started. these are folks we hope will contribute spiritually to our community in the years to come.