Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

26 May 2008

God of the City

Is it possible for God to "save a city?". I desperately want to know. I took a stroll through downtown Hamilton today, put Passion's "God of the City" on loop and listened.

I've been pushing my mind to think further than before. Asking myself the question, "What do I really want to see happen?" See... I really do believe there is going to come a day where Christians with a heart for ministry will be able to do what's actually on their heart (instead of just playing survival). I have friends who feel their specific calling is to make money to give away to people with God-vision for Canada.

So in my mind... I have a responsibility (to myself really) to have some deeper questions answered. In the past I simply said that I wanted to see a city saved. But today I asked "Why?"

A: Because cities are broken. I see it everywhere
Q: Why?
A: Because people plan cities. There's sin in the mix.
Q: So?
A: Well, God's got better plans and wants people to know him more.
Q: Why?
A: So they can be closer to him.
Q: Where?
A: In their city...
Q: Won't it just break again?
A: Your city won't... ahhh.

You've gotta read Revelation 21's description of God's city. It's gorgeous.

You know what my dream is? It's "your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven". I desperately want to know what it looks like when the City of God collides with our cities!

City's are Big. They are multifaceted, complex social and economic organisms. A stew of culture, race and priorities. While they have commonalities... they differ so greatly, one to another.

Christianity Today has an article about "Rethinking Suburban Evangelism". I don't agree with every point, but it paints a great picture of how our current colliding city experiment is going.

"But it's more than the language of Zion that frightens suburbanites. Evangelicals have their own concert artists, radio and television networks, and publishing empires. They have their own subculture heroes, few of whom are well known by the world at large. To those outside the church, all this makes these Christians seem to live in another world.

So what happens when these opposite worlds meet on a Thursday-night evangelism call? Inner terror-on both sides of the door. The worlds have so little in common that bridging becomes a matter of near panic. The suburbanite who lays down his Forbes magazine (or his Playboy) to answer the door and finds literature-armed churchgoers on his stoop is terrified! These evangelists may be gentle in their confrontation, but the terror of the event is nonetheless great."

They call suburbia "The New Ghetto" because of just how different the cultures are...

Suburbia: how the push-button Zion of those who have made it and therefore have it made. There, amid the water sprinkling systems and lava rock landscapes, rises the new Eden with little need for God: Paradise Found, where churches ulcerate themselves trying to sell self-denial to the pampered.

But head downtown in a city, and it's a different story. Different cultures... different needs... different social dynamics.

What needs to happen is to have God's city planners. Ministries functioning together in various "departments". For the worker's to care about their "jobs". Get a heart for the lost... for their city. Hmm... dreamin' today.

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