For The City
Beginning today, I will be leading a mission team to New York City to assist church planter, Pastor Drew Griffin. Pastor Drew lives in the upper East Side neighborhood of Yorkville where he will be planting Cross Church NYC as part of the North American Mission Board, SEND strategy. This strategy targets the 32 largest and most unreached cities of North America.
It’s really a simple concept. The vast majority of people in our country and around the world live in a large city.
If we can win the cities we can win the world for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
But cities are hard ground. History has proven that when vast numbers of people gather together in one place (a city), they collectively reject God and the things of God. The first and prime example of this is the ancient city of Babel, led by the pagan ruler, Nimrod. The philosophy of Babel was to “build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, less we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth” – Genesis 11:4.
Much is in that little statement. First, God had commanded that it is the place of mankind to spread out and have dominion over the whole earth. Instead, our tendency is to clump together and have dominion over our own “kingdom” or city. Second, cities have identities. Just like Babel sought to make a name for itself, cities have personalities that they proudly promote and market. Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love (unless you’re a Cowboy fan!), Denver is the Mile High City, Chicago is the Windy City, and on and on. Third, cities are marked by towers. Consider that every major city in USAmerica has it’s own distinct skyline of towers. The skyline itself becomes part of the identity of the city as well.
So all of this together makes church planting in a city very, very difficult. But God has not forsaken the city. In fact, God loves the city because the city is full of millions of people the He has died for through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
As we consider our mission strategy to win the world for Jesus Christ, we must consider the city. And so we come to Pastor Drew and his fledgling church on the upper East Side of Manhattan. I am very much looking forward to being there for a week with six of my brothers from the Cross Church School of Ministry. Men, who are God-called and training for ministry. Men who will be future pastors working their own strategy to fulfill the Great Commission.
I invite you to follow me via Twitter beginning today as we go on mission…to the city!