Last week I blogged on the Wall Street Journal article that ranked the Portland Metro area as the most “godless city in America.” I also talked about this in my sermon on Sunday, and the response from LifePoint was as expected. I heard from so many people who said: “We want to be the church found loving Jesus well in the most godless city in America.”
This week’s findings reveal that we have every opportunity in front of us. Mr. Clarensau shot me this article from Bloomberg Business which ranked the top 50 metro areas in the nation based on statistics relating to suicide, depression, crime, and divorce. Guess what? Bloomberg ranked the Portland Metro area as “America’s Unhappiest City.” Bloomberg cites that Portland is #1 in depression, #4 in divorce, and #12 in suicide.
This is another great reminder of how vital it is for the church to be the church for our city. If we’re going to be the church, it demands that we pursue relationship with those around us who do not know Jesus. Jesus was known for meeting new people. His reputation was one that made the religious types uncomfortable. Here is one example from Matthew’s gospel:
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:11-13
The Portland Metro area is one of great need and great opportunity for the church to exemplify the character and mercy of Jesus. With Easter only 4 days away, why not invite people in your sphere of influence to check out what Jesus is doing?
 The article attached to the stats is a few years old.