A City Movement

How does a gospel movement move beyond one neighborhood or one church and sweep through an entire city?  That was the question of a recent conference I attended here in Miami called City to City. City to City is a network made up of major leaders of churches in large North American cities (those with more than 1 million inhabitants).  This gathering was attended by leaders from California to Mexico, and from Canada to New York.  Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Church in Manhattan, was the keynote speaker for the conference.  Tim was here in Miami to encourage leaders to pray and work toward starting a gospel movement in their city.  What is a gospel movement?  Chuck Colson, who started Prison Fellowship Ministry, explains what happens when people in prison begin to turn to Christ.  As people begin to follow Jesus, their behaviors begin to change.  As the number of Christians in a prison increases soon the whole tone and tenor of the prison is transformed.  There is a tipping point in this process when there are enough Jesus-followers in a particular prison that the nature of the prison is changed deeply and extensively.  It happens when more than 10% of the prison population becomes involved in ministry, serving others and sharing what they have received.  Something of an explosion takes place.  It becomes a movement.

What does it take for this to happen in a city?  According to Keller, there must first be an effective way for communicating and embodying the gospel tailored to the specific city.  At the same time, there must also be a number of church planting movements taking place across denominations.  Finally, there are other systems or networks that support the growing synergy.  They include:

  • Kingdom-centered prayer.  United prayer movements in the city.
  • Specialty evangelistic ministries thrive (such as high school or college campus ministries).
  • Justice and mercy ministries.  (Christians begin to ask, “How can I make the city a better place to live?”)
  • Faith and work initiatives emerge.  (Christians begin to gather based on calling.  They ask for example, “What does it mean to be a Christian lawyer in our city?”)
  • Artists.  Christian artists begin to resource each other and support each other.  We begin to see an renewal of the arts in our city.
  • Education and family support institutions emerge such as counseling centers and schools.
  • Leadership development.  As system emerges to identify and train new leaders.
  • Over lapping leaders who begin to share a passion and love for the city.

Now Keller also suggests that as these systems develop there is a tipping point for the city, a time with the city becomes deeply effected by the gospel.  How might our church partner with other churches and ministries in Miami for such a gospel movement right here?  How could you best be part of this movement as God raises up leaders for the future?

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on August 4, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Praying for our city.


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