Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Engage Your City

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, is a leading voice in urban ministries today. Redeemer is making a powerful statement by reaching and impacting the city in multiple ways, not the least of which is their work with church planters in cities around the world.

Redeemer City to City is the name of their actions to help church planters. Their website has tons of helpful resources that city church planters (and others) will find useful.

One such resource is a document titled "A Vision for our Cities", which you ought to read in its entirety. Here are a few excerpts:

As the main purveyor of influence to surrounding communities, the city is where culture is formed. The Christian desire to shape culture with the gospel therefore requires Christians to live and be active in the city.

There are many reasons why we ought to be concerned about the city, not the least of which are the following:
  • The cities are where people are and increasingly will be
  • The cities are key centers of influence culturally, spiritually, and in nearly every other way
  • The city is God's invention, part of God's plan and purpose, and as such should not be regarded as evil. Life in a city is our eventual destiny - or at least our eternal destiny will revolve around a city

If our intent is to change or have an effect on a city, we have to engage at many different levels.

  • We have to proclaim Christ to individuals and communities
  • We have to "act justly and to love mercy" (Micah 6:8)
  • We have to engage culture
  • We have to help Christians apply their faith in all that they do

Repeatedly throughout Scriptures, we see God's concern for cities and the people within them, both those inhabited and dominated by His people, like Jerusalem, and those that were not, such as Nineveh and Babylon.

God is just as concerned today about cities as He was back then, and therefore so should we.

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