We, the global family of God, are in a season of rediscovering the God of Creation. With all the discussion and energy around “transforming cities” there is no shortage of plans and activities – some are bringing dissonance and some resonance to the overall landscape. The greatest need however, is for God’s people to 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 Creation. Then and only then will we see a unified, Spirit led, Spirit empowered and servant movement in our cities and nations.
We are also being invited by the Father to rediscover the prayers and covenants made by faithful forerunners in our cities – those who went before us centuries or even millennia ago. Our hearts are not to discover the work of the enemy as such, but, realize that any “stronghold (in our cities) lies in the shadow of broken covenants.” By uncovering the roots of God’s biblical and historical design for our cities, we will be able to truly “seek the welfare of the city” in the humility and with the authority available to God’s Kingdom emissaries. (See “Resources” for supporting teachings and material).
REUNIFY: around the person of Christ—We, the church have the only unifying figure available of all the people on the earth—Jesus! Our cultures have tried to unify around a utopian or religious ideology or in some nations around the vision of an authoritarian leader and his cabal. In our church cultures we have often sought to unify around particular theologies or leaders at the expense of our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. God is inviting us to celebrate our diversity while rediscovering our unity in Christ and Christ alone—together!
REUNIFY: around all the people of God—To reach our cities we have to protect our oneness in Christ. Apostolic teaching in the early church made a direct correlation between Gods heart and plan being made known to “principalities and powers” and the oneness of the Church. Because of their factionalism, Paul told the Corinthian church that he could not speak to them as spiritual beings but carnal “men.” Unity in the city will not manifest by everyone working together, but by being attached to certain people and churches who are all attached to other people and churches etc… all unified by being of “one mind.” The Church is not an institution but an inclusive family that identifies all believers as “the Church:” business people, housewives, educators, children and civil leaders. We are reflective representation of Christ on the earth—together!
REUNIFY: around a biblical framework for the Church in culture—after centuries of quietism (not engaging culture), God is inviting his people to become benefactors to our cultures. Where we have historically separated into the “Salvation” and “Social Gospel” camps, the Father is calling us to embrace a “full Gospel”—salvation in Christ that promotes “good works” to our cultures, “that they may see your good works and glorify the Father which his in heaven.
REUNIFY: around the direction of the Holy Spirit in all endeavors—There is both a drivenness and a weariness in much of the Church today. We have often labored under the pressure of an orphan’s hopelessness or a slaves need to work for identity. Paul tells us that “all that are led of the Spirit, the same are sons of God.” There is no tiredness, there is no lack of power, no confusion of direction in the Holy Spirit. We are being called back to the simple beauty of hearing his voice and doing “the will of the Father”—together.
It will take the whole Church to reach the whole city. God is longing to deploy all of his people in all domains of life to be the family of God, benefit the culture around us and do it through any and all diversity. He is releasing new revelation of himself and his ways, new partnerships, new strategies and new economic strategies. Like Nehemiah’s rabble, who rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem “up against their own homes,” the family of God is being equipped to build where they are planted. Jesus, our architect, the only one with the eternal blueprint, is deploying his people on the broken walls of our cities and saying to us, “let us arise and build.”—together!