Saturday, December 19, 2015

What Does It Mean to Be “For the City”?

In a ministry culture where we’re told to be “known more by what we’re for than what we’re against,” it has become increasingly popular to claim our churches are “for the city.”

While I believe churches should be known both for what we’re for and against, it’s certainly good news that the cities and towns where we find ourselves ministering are places we love and desire to see reached with the truth of the gospel.

At the church where I pastor in Tallahassee, Florida, our mission statement is to be “for the gospel, for the city.” Because of our unwavering belief in the good news of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for sinners through His death, burial, and resurrection, we are compelled to love Tallahassee, and that is the only possible option when one believes the gospel.

Loving and being “for one’s city” is easy to claim. But it must become a cultural value in our churches, rather than simply an annual service project, if we’re going to have lasting impact in the places God has placed us. For a church to actively love a city, it’s not so much a strategy or a plan, but a culture in which church members continually immerse themselves in the life of the city.

A local restaurant owner, who is not a believer, recently told me, “You City Church guys are everywhere.” That’s the point. We’ve created a culture of loving our city, and by God’s grace, Tallahassee has taken notice of our people immersing themselves in the culture without resembling unbelievers.

In creating this culture, we’ve intentionally followed some principles and missional convictions that are helpful for churches to consider.... Read more
The "city"can be any community - even a widely-scattered rural community. 

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