Monday, July 11, 2011

Pastoring our city - 10 questions

I am loving the worldwide call to take ownership of our "Jerusalem". For our journey, it has been very easy to respond to the call to the nations. That is the dream that grabbed our soul from the 80's. We moved nations and continents. We raked up frequent flyer miles as we had a dream to die for, a hill to die on.

But God, rich in mercy, would simply not let us mature with lopsided development - one muscle group over all the others, has called us to attention. The Acts 1 and Matt 28 mandate remains: "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost..."

Defining our city in the modern world is a fun theological and sociological exercise. It does depend on many factors both factual as well as perceived, mindsets as well as boundary lines. So in the spirit of Luke 15 here are some questions:
  • How do we define our city limits?
  • What is the demographic of this city?
  • What are the things that define the city sociologically?
  • What are the questions the city is wrestling with?
  • Who in the city has a similar heart that we can / need to be partnering with?
  • What are the key action points-the limp of the city?
  • How can I preach into the soul of the city?
  • What is my prayer passion for my city?
  • Where can my church lay down our life for the city?
  • Who are the key voices in the city that we need to connect with?
I would love to hear from you...


  1. Have been thinking a bunch about transformationalism, church and culture, the limits and call of the church as an institution and the call to its members in all of life.

    I sure don't have all the answers, though my seminal thoughts are that it would seem as an institution we are simply to be witnesses of the gospel to our Jerusalem, heralds of a message. I realize that at first this is not glamorous or that in vogue, and without further explanation seems very reductionistic. Yes, we are to see the King's kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven, though within limits (George Ladd, etc)... just like our authority has limits within our call as pastors & teachers in the church, with a message to the world.
    Kuyper has some great thoughts on the sovereignty of God as it pertains to all of life in his classic Princeton Lectures, how this is to be evidence through the church as (1) an institution and (2) as individuals is a fascinating study - one I'd love to know more about this to more faithfully proclaim Christ in our cities, particularly in the more post-Christian contexts.


  2. I do agree. There is a temptation to be triumphalistic in seeking to transform our cities. The driving text preached around this thrust has been Jonah. I am all for crying out to God for our city [like Abraham did for Sodom] - seeking to infiltrate our cities with kingdom values and norms, believing God to invade our cities with his presence. However to create a one size fits all expectation could lead to deep disappointment. Having said that, I do want to reach as far I can into authentic pockets of faith but lead the outworking firmly in the Father's providential hands.