Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 9, 2008

Into the Cities

   A little more than thirty years ago, I took my first steps on the road of vocational Christian ministry. My journey began in an urban setting where I served on the staff of a church located in the heart of the city. For a time, I lived in a rented upstairs room in an old house located near the church. I knew the roaches by name and sometimes kept a light on at night to keep them at bay. But, I loved it there because I could feel the pulse of the city. I knew the people who walked to the grocery store, the homeless guys, the lunch crowd at the deli, the security guards at the hospital, the regulars at the laundromat, the kids who lived in the half-way houses, and the old-timers who knew everyone by name.

   I love cities — the places where you can see the colorful strata of society in the landscape of humanity. I have visited major population centers in twenty-six countries around the planet. Each of these places share one thing in common — lots of people, each of whom deserves the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. While cities offer many distractions to the gospel, they also provide a vast audience for the gospel.

   We can make a difference in our city and in cities around the world if each of us will embrace our responsibility to share our story and show His love. That’s the way first-century believers reached their cities. John Foxe wrote the following about first-century believers: “In that age every Christian was a missionary. The soldier tried to win recruits…; the prisoner sought to bring his jailer to Christ; the slave girl whispered the gospel in the ear of her mistress; the young wife begged her husband to be baptized…; every one who had experienced the joys of believing tried to bring others to the faith.” (Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World, p. 41)

   The Apostle Paul concentrated his missionary work on cities. He took the gospel to people from all levels of society in the strategic population centers of his day. The gospel spread rapidly from these places of influence to outlying areas. In a period of about ten years, Paul established churches in the provinces of Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia, and Asia. From there, the gospel continued its march from city to city and village to village across the centuries until it reached your neighborhood and mine. And now, it’s our responsibility to allow God to use us to reach cities and provinces and nations. It can happen if each of us will take His message into the cities. So, be sure to share your personal story and show His wonderful love to someone this week. You never know where that message will eventually end up a generation from now.


Responses

  1. O~

    Reading this reminded me of the story about a really great song that is out now. This link does a great job explaining the story.

    http://thedeezone.wordpress.com/2008/04/20/god-of-this-city/

    Jon


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