I recently met with someone who is looking for a new job and considering a move, which provoked some community-centered counsel regarding job-hunting and a move. I prefaced my comments by saying that they would be very unAmerican and unpopular. Here’s the crux of the counsel: don’t pick a location based on vocation; pick location based on community. In other words, be community-centered, not vocation-centered in making decisions about finding a new job and place to live.

Instead of sending resumes to the four winds to be blown to the city of our whim, what if we put community over personal preference in selecting a new place to live and work? What if we took the church so seriously that we made vocational and relocation decisions based on participation among a people on mission for God? Our cities, communities, churches, families, and lives would be very different.

My counsel was: “Find a gospel-centered community that you can do life and mission with, then a job, and then move there.” Now, I did provide an important caveat. Community is not sovereign; God is. So, if you aren’t getting resume or job traction in the church location you are aiming for, don’t just move there anyway. The church isn’t sovereign over the details of job offers; God is. If things don’t pan out, then you are probably aiming for the wrong community. God wants you in community and on mission elsewhere.