Staying in the city

On Tuesday morning, I attended a church planting meeting. As a presbytery, we are hoping to see some serious church planting activity in the next several years. And as part of that process, we will be having monthly meetings to network, grow, be challenged, and encourage one another in the process.

Anyhow, one pastor explained his vision to me. His vision is not just for his church, but for the city and the culture. Changing the culture of an area involves reaching all different kinds of people in that given area: across racial, economic, social lines.
And to accomplish this, he explained to me that it takes time. So much time, that he said, “I will probably be dead by the time we start to see change at a deep cultural level. But my hope is that my grandkids will see the fruit of this labor.”
With his church, he really challenges all those who seek to be leaders to really consider giving their whole lives to their city of Lakeland. Now he understands that God may call people elsewhere, but to prayerfully consider giving their whole lives to their city to see God’s invisible Kingdom made visible. Sometimes that might mean forsaking a raise here or there, among other sacrifices.
First of all, though a novel thought, this really does make sense to me. Second of all, God does call people to move (perhaps sometimes regularly), so it is not a measuring stick of spiritual maturity. However, I do think its something that many folks (not all) should at least consider.
In our transient world, this is quite a sacrifice. But most missionaries look back on their lives and feel they never really made a sacrifice. I would doubt that this would be any different.
Just some thoughts I’m chewing on now.

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