In the beginning, CityForce, (2002) was basically, well…just me—linked to a network of friends and “family,” all “co-conspirators” in the current move of God to shape his church into the image of His Son. Now the Lord has blessed Mindy and I with new partners in the calling of God to cities, Ken and Lori Janke.
Though CityForce is our contribution to the global endeavor to transform cities, Ken and I are both firmly rooted in the 24-7 Prayer /Boiler Room Network in the USA, part of a spectacular team engaged in pioneer church planting while strengthening and reforming hierarchical church structures. With our “monk-like” tendencies we would be helpless without an “apostolic team”; our Boiler Room friends and the joy of our lives.
Although a “friar”” of sorts, a troglodyte by nature, I (Jon) am blessed, together with Ken and our army of friends, to facilitate and connect a number of larger movements cruising the waves of church and cultural transformation.
When God’s people rediscover their God, His heart, His plan and the power of their transforming Father. Only then will we shed the independence of personal vision and enter into His age-long vision for the whole of Creation. Then and only then will we see a unified, Spirit led, Spirit empowered and servant movement in our cities and nations.
Said “shaping” by the Spirit is designed to reveal Christ in us and Christ through us as benefactors, “salt and light” to our ever-darkening earth. We are tasked by the Father tobridge the disunity gap in the family of God while laying foundations for missional living, and the transformation of cities.
“The core intention at the inception of CityForce was first to encourage the church to rediscover God’s plan for her.”
The core intention at the inception of CityForce was first to encourage the church to rediscover God’s plan for her as found in the Scriptures followed by an investigation of His “redemptive roots” in the cities he had assigned His people to.
Secondly, we were in need of a mass unification, a love so tenacious, that the propensity toward individualism, comparison and hostility in the family of God would burn off in the light of his revelation and calling to re-unify and “be one” in Christ
For all the lingo of “unity” being bantered around, there was still rampant anemia evident at the heart of the people of God. With all the attempts to take on Nehemiah’s mantle to “arise and build,” it was proving to be a less-than-fruitful undertaking. Rebuilding God’s work without surrendering to God’s ways was rendering the church impotent to the onslaughts of culture’s fast evolution into tower building—a modern Babel-like structure, that was and is seeking to replace the Creator with the creatures fallen constructs and ideologies. The church was quickly being mired in the quicksand of irrelevance. (see the Vision and Values section for more on these three values.)
As a delivery system for these “life shaping” ideas, we are committed to offering a series of “Learning Labs” to help develop an eco system, an incubator for transformational change in leaders’ lives and practices. These “Labs” will be set in a “community learning environment” to equip church, marketplace and government leaders with a biblical framework, character development and appropriate skills to better “be” the church and impact their slice of culture the Father has assigned them to. Through targeted teaching topics, peer to peer interaction in learning cohorts and personal mentoring relationships, the Learning Labs hope to lay new and appropriate foundations in a network of “co conspirators” in the transformation of the church and culture.
We’ll be adding a calendar in the next month listing topics, dates and locations of upcoming Learning Labs.