Belinda and I are contemplating buying a house, and as I am happily an idealist, that has led me through a whirlwind of philosophical questions.
We talk about being like the Good Samaritan. Help anyone you encounter on your path who is in need. But in choosing what house to buy and where, we are quite literally choosing which path we're going to be walking on. I want to be in a place where I can be a blessing to the most people.
One of our top priorities is proximity to our church. While many committed church-goers would consider this in a move, it's usually in the context of balancing commute times between workplace and school and church and family. Our radius is a bit tighter than "anything within a 20 minute drive." We already live within a mile, and we want to get closer.
I'm committed to the ideal of a local church that is actually local--one which makes a bigger difference to it's direct neighbors than some additional traffic on Sunday mornings. The question is, if your church picked up and left town, would it's neighborhood notice? And if they noticed, would they be sorry to see you go?
Bluntly, I don't think the answer to that second question is yes for us--yet.