#014 = WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO REACH A CITY? By: Norm ********

HOW TO RECOGNIZE A CITY REACHING PASTOR

City Reaching is the strategic ministry of Christians focused on transforming their city through the sequenced activity of the "C"hurch by on-going cooperation, communication, collaboration, coordination and increased cohesive unity. The overarching goal is to bring closure to the mandate of the Great Commission, where the whole church reaches the whole city with the whole Gospel.

The convergence of various streams of influence, leadership and movements, are an essential aspect of the work needed to catalyze a city into an effective network that reaches the whole city.

Leverage (to increase or advance) is a key ingredient that will enable the

"C"hurch to be effective and focused, yet multi-faceted enough, to respond

to the obstacles of reaching an entire city. Two scriptures stand as

significant guideposts for our consideration toward blending the various

streams of influence. "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many

parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is

with Christ." 1 Cor. 12:12 "Each one should use whatever gift he has

received to serve others, faithfully administering Godís grace in its

various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

To harness the capability of the wide spectrum of Godís gifts, talents, and

methods within a geographic area, great tolerance and objectivity are

required. Further, it would be Godís desire to combine the streams into a

river that has high banks and a deep channel that provided for all the

needs in a city, rather than flooding. It will be the "C"hurches maturity

in love and acceptance of every representative of the "Body" that will

provide the high banks to the river of collected streams. This requires a

move of God on a leadership level and only comes through concerted prayer,

requests, thanksgiving, and intercession. 1 Tim. 2:1-3

What are the various streams needing to be embraced?

1.†††††††† Intercessory movements (ears of God) need to be linked with the leadership (directors for God) in a city.

2.†††††††† Awakening/Renewal movements need not to be only a flash but thinking about grounding in discipleship, represented by Henry Blackabyís book "Experiencing God" and the Navigators emphasis on scripture memory.

3.†††††††† Reconciliation between those who have historically been at opposite poles need on-going training as to how to partner and stay reconciled for the world to see.

4.†††††††† Evangelism is great and produces a harvest, but is there a consideration for conservation- church planting, and church growth?

5.†††††††† Tactical ministries are terrific and focus on a specific task. But can there be intentionality to weave the independent into an inter-dependent coalition, whose efforts are brought into concert, for an outcome strategically mandated for the cities overall good?

6.†††††††† Community developmental networks need the governments approval, blessing and support. Business people often have run the course with city officials already. Opportunity to serve the cause of Christ in helping develop a business plan is just the step needed to make a community project successful and viable.

7.†††††††† Vision, dreams and desires are very needed to create a passion. But the need for facts, driven by actual assessments done through mapping, statistics, and demographics, are also key to establishing a baseline of reality about a city.

8.†††††††† Spiritual warfare is now a common term and an accepted aspect of knowledge that has more than captured our imaginations, and has now demanded our attention. In contrast, considering what we have discovered are we now as knowledgeable to perform the power encounters to route the enemy out?

9.†††††††† Worship of God is a tool of personal renewal and warfare, but if withheld from the streets in identificational repentance and restoration, will worship alone turn the "C"hurch into a huddled muddle, instead of a vibrant witness to the lost.

These nine opposites need to attract and become part of the whole. If we have a city-wide war, we need a city-wide "C"hurch. Going it alone is not going to leverage the disciplines needed to reach a multi-faceted city of need. Our Lord is not coming for a harem of splintered body parts, but for a Bride, He calls His "C"hurch.

It is said that we are now in a post-denominational time in the life of the "C"hurch here in America. If this is true, what is substituting the structure of denominationalism? The "C"hurch is looking three ways:

1.†††††††† Intra-denominational- mega-congregation pastors are forming their own alliances.

2.†††††††† Inter-denominational- alignment of pastors hearts into associations outside their own denominational distinctions.

3.†††††††† Extra-denominational- territorial relationships with one another in a geographical setting, like a city, are bonding one another together. These streams are allowing the leadership of the "C"hurch to meet with and come to know one another like never before. But the focus of these gatherings is still not yet directed at a united vision for a city-wide, community driven outreach, of all the lost in a geographically bound area. Is the reason we are not seeing our communities reached because we are not praying community wide targeted prayers?

All of the streams that have been listed need the focus of the lost! Secondly, all the streams above need to focus their authority toward delivering people from the hands of the enemy in Jesus name. Both, personally and territorially. Thirdly, all the streams need to practice submission to the designated servant leadership, appointed by God and those who have spiritual responsibility.

We need to build the "Kingdom Net", which depends on relationships and connections. Value is more and more determined not by finance but measured in terms of your network of connections. It is the "C"hurches foundation of combined effort and relational (functional) unity that fosters Kingdom growth. When the "Body" links through these various streams of interconnecting relationships and shares resources, it is then, that we will become the powerful tool called the "net" (Matt. 13;47), that obtains lost souls from perilous depths of depravity in our cities. The "C"hurch is at last acknowledging its need to connect in a way that produces life.

The entire pattern of New Testament ministry is centered on teamwork. Teamwork is a merging of your gift with others in the "Body" to properly establish the Kingdom. Leadership is primarily and essentially relational people who understand that they need the rest of the "Body". A "net"work becomes a melting pot of strategy, vision, methods, teaching, training and programs. And it is the relationships (not policies or rules) that are the main source of organizational strength.

A true "net"work is accomplished largely through the partnership of prayer, discussion, planning and visionary leadership. A "net"work is not facilitating camaraderie but ministry to the lost.

David Cannastraci, in his book "The Gift of Apostle" delineates three essential priorities for networking in chapter fourteen.

1.†††††††† Relationship-walking in the truth of Godís work washes the net.

2.†††††††† Equipping and reproduction-mends the net.

3.†††††††† Mission-expansion and growth are immutable mandates of the kingdom-casting the net. Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom is pulling in the net.

For a net to be effective, it must be placed in the water! For the "Body" to be effective, we must be immersed in the world. Unless we draw people into the house of the Lord, no catching and changing of lives can occur. Four walls and five acres are not the only jurisdiction of the "C"hurch, all the streams are needed in dynamic sequence of activity directed by a servant leadership team raised by God for a geographically specific area. It has been said that leadership determines the direction of the ministry, structure determines the size of the ministry, relationships determine morale of the ministry, personnel determines the potential of the ministry, but prayer will determine the effectiveness of the ministry. (The cities covet your prayers!)

What does it take to be a "City Reaching" Pastor?

1.†††††††† City Reaching Pastors (CR) are desperate to be used of God in a Kingdom setting. The considerations of self, denomination, how good I look, continue to diminish.

2.†††††††† CR Pastors desire to do things with the whole city in mind, those elected, commissioned, or anyone who has authority. Praying with and for other Pastors and Christian Leadership of similar calling is not unusual, and considered one of the highest priorities the Lord gives to us as Shepherds of a city (1 Tim. 2:1-8).

3.†††††††† CR Pastors realize the irrelevance of their own single congregation impacting the city entirely, unless that same congregation is combined with others in similar tactics to accomplish much more influence for the Kingdom of God.

4.†††††††† CR Pastors are increasingly alert to the need for strategic planning, that considers the whole of all the congregations aggregate contribution on the whole to a city.

5.†††††††† CR Pastors are willing to measure the Harvest Force (the congregations) and the Harvest Field (what are the specific felt needs of the city that is needing reaching).

6.†††††††† CR Pastors realize there is a need for a leadership structure that is servant motivated and expressed. Rarely does a city or region realize success unless their is a dedicated person assigned full time to the communication, administration, and servant facilitation of the City Reaching Task wanting to be completed. Answer this question for those who would become leadership in your city, ("who would I follow anywhere?").

7.†††††††† CR Pastors donít care who grows and gets bigger, because God causes the increase. The ultimate question to ask of myself and to bring into comparison to the past is ("have I been faithful to do what Christ asked me to do in my area of the city?").

8.†††††††† CR Pastors are focused and unified around the "harvest". Whatever increases Christ being known and is not motivated by competition or self, will stand as holy to the Lord.

9.†††††††† CR Pastors are obedient bound to the welfare of the city. Jeremiah 29:7

10.†††††† CR Pastors accept that the flock they are to looking after is not comprised of only believers in their fold, but the unbelievers outside the fold in a city. Shepherding is not an isolated job within a city, it is a networking job of kingdom building, until all are prayed for and presented the opportunity to accept Christ.

Pressing on in the power of Him who has been raised from the dead,

Norm ******** <nbrinkley1@integrityonline7.com>

    
Phil Miglioratti
National Pastorsí Prayer Network
1130 Randville Drive 1D, Palatine, IL 60074
847-991-0153  • phil@nppn.org (e-mail) http://www.nppn.org

http://www.missionamerica.org/prayernetwork.html

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