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WANTED! Enthusiastic, outgoing, hip, cross-cultural missionary who wants the privilege to take the Great News into two up-and-coming neighborhoods in an urban-leaning, re-gentrifying area of the Rocky Mountain West. See a faith family born where there is no local church presence and Christ Jesus is not known.

The Northside and Westside neighborhoods of Missoula, Montana are ripe for engagement by a gregarious, resilient, well-spoken person/family who are driven to make disciples of Jesus. The area boasts amazing economic and cultural diversity, neighborhood pride, and local momentum toward positive change. Once known as the place to engage the drug scene, the neighborhoods are being re-settled by a younger, more educated, and more economically stable population that wants to live in the city with its amenities, while valuing a neighborhood feel. There are approximately 9,000 residents (3,000 in Northside and 6,000 in Westside) residing in an area of approximately 1900 acres.

The neighborhoods are examples of economic and value contrasts, yet according to survey work done by the Missoula Neighborhood Council there seems to be a strong sense of belonging and community pride that draws people together to make a difference and enjoy life together. Surveys show that over three-fourths of residents have college education or more. Roughly one-third of the residents have household incomes over $50,000 annually while another third bring in less than $20,000 per year. Recent fact-finding trips to the area discovered a noticeable lack of third-spaces in the area and church facilities are non-existent. Surveys show that people want to shop more locally be in their in the neighborhood more. One effort to address some of these felt needs was undertaken by the North Missoula Development Corporation. Their contribution includes affordable family housing, a building for community gathering, a restaurant, and a community hall. It has been a recognized success.

One of the major mobile home parks in the area has announced that it will be closing and the property re-developed. This will initiate more rapid change to the neighborhood. Re-purposing, community gardening, and “keeping Missoula weird” are recognized values of the people in the neighborhoods.

Missoula is considered one of the West’s best-kept secrets, yet these neighborhoods show evidence that people, especially millennials, are discovering an inviting, invigorating community that celebrates diversity, creative thought, and a lifestyle centered around outdoor recreation opportunities, which abound in the region.

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