Recently, David Leonhardt of The New York Times described an often overlooked factor in upward social mobility. Among other factors such as good healthcare, schools, and parents who stay married, kids from lower-income households tend to do better if they have friends, family, or community members from diverse economic backgrounds.
How do those relationships form? After suggesting subsidized housing, more diverse K-12 schools, and access to public parks, Leonhardt arrives at, wait for it, the church.
Although many churches are socioeconomically homogeneous, those with some diversity tend to foster more cross-class interactions than most other social activities. Churchs[sic] have lower levels of what the researchers call socioeconomic “friending bias.”
Churchgoers tend to be more willing to associate with people outside of their immediate economic bracket. Because of this, and other reasons, the Church is one of the best drivers of human flourishing that God created. As Chuck Colson said, the world needs the Church to be the Church.
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