Why Church Partnerships Really Matter in Detroit
For Osminski, the son of a tire factory worker and former Detroit school teacher, the initiative holds great promise for bridging the divides to revive a once-mighty city.
"There's a collaborative endeavor among the churches and people that I believe is God working to provide a gospel answer for the city of Detroit," says Osminski, a friendly Jesus Movement vet in jeans and a hockey jacket. "That's where the hope lies."
Organizers hope EACH helps revitalize a city teetering on bankruptcy and ravaged by unemployment, abandonment and crime. What began as a one-year evangelization campaign in 2011 has become an ongoing movement to make Jesus a major player in Detroit's renewal.
Spearheaded by a white suburban pastor and a black urban minister, EACH takes as a challenge a 2009 Time magazine story dubbing Detroit "an icon of the failed American city." Its website proclaims, "The time is now to show a watching world that Metro-Detroit has found a way to rise from the ashes . . . and that 'way' is more than inner-city green spaces and smarter cars."
The Motor City's proud legacy as the city that moved the world can provide a spiritually infused model for the future, says Chris Brooks, a Detroit pastor and EACH leader.
"We can move the world again," says Brooks, pastor of the 1,500-member Evangel Ministries on the northwest edge of Detroit. "But this time it won't be just about building automobiles. It will be about building people."
Laying a Spiritual Foundation
It started in 2009 on a whiteboard at Oak Pointe Church in Novi, a fast-growing suburb sprawling with office parks and a destination mall. Bob Shirock, senior pastor of the mostly white, upper-middle class congregation of 3,200, drew a 12-mile circle around his church and asked: How do we give all these people a chance to hear about Christ? Replied a worship leader, Why do this alone?