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What Airbnb teaches us about mission

by Jen Rusco

20 years ago, I dialed a 1-800 number to contact a national hotel chain and book a room.

10 years ago, I opened up my laptop and went to hotels.com to book a room.

Today, I have an Air B&B app on my phone.

Do you see what happened over the years?  Technology improved and my ability to take care of my needs became simpler.  What an improvement, to go from reliance on a call center to book my room to complete control over my stay.

Do you see the other shift? A new option became available, the option to stay in a home.

Despite the rise of technology and the distance that tech seemingly makes in our world, people still crave a community experience.  Today, a modern worker only needs a laptop and a phone and he can work from any location. While it’s true he could hole up at home, many choose to work from their local coffee shop. Why? Because community matters.

Darren will occasionally drive for Uber during peak tourism times in our little town. We are a wine country destination and we have a local fair that pulls in big name entertainment. Quite often people jump into the car and the first thing they exclaim is, “what’s it like to live here?” They are impressed with our life and want to know more. It’s true, some people will get in the car and say nothing, but very frequently, the conversation is easy because people want to know about us. They crave our community.

I work at a local business with 25 employees. Twenty of them are under 30 years old. They all know that Darren and I work at a local church. None of them have ever shown any interest in going to our church, however many of them are open to coming over to our home.

This venture to step out from the local church and engage in our community is a response to the call of God and the call of the world around us. The generations coming up behind us will surpass us in their technological knowledge and it may seem intimidating. But one thing that will never change is their desire to know and be known. So community will always matter.

Our hope is to build a community on a mission- to know and be known in Paso Robles and the Central Coast. We will open our home, our car, our lives to people who don’t yet know Jesus.

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