Means For The Church In A City To Bring Transformation
means for the church in a city to bring transformation
Barth - Mission America
Facilitator for City Community Ministries
America is a coalition of 435 national leaders of denominations and parachurch
ministries committed to a mission: “The whole church taking the whole Gospel
to the whole nation.” We believe God is bringing the church together in an
unprecedented manner in our time. In a very real sense, we are seeing an
answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23. Pastors are gathering in prayer
groups that cross-denominational lines. Laypersons are gathering in Bible
Studies through their work place, neighborhoods and schools, which value a
person’s spiritual journey in Christ above other Christian labels.
Jesus’ prayer focused on unity with a purpose.
He prayed, ³that all
them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they
be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.² When God
unprecedented unity, we must ask, ³What is God¹s purpose?²
believe God’s purpose is “²that the world may believe.² According to
George Gallup, interest in spirituality is at an all-time high in the short
history of the Gallup Polling organization. Now is the time to show and share
the love of Jesus Christ as expressed in the good news of the Gospel.
The ³whole Gospel² is perhaps best represented in Jesus’
declaration at the start of his ministry in Luke 4:16-21, when Jesus went into
the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath and read these words, ³The Spirit of
the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for
the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s
favor.”Again, in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his
one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life.² The whole Gospel
is composed of the mighty deeds and the mighty words of the Kingdom of God.
It is the preaching and the living of the Gospel that brings a witness
to the whole person as the Holy Spirit reaches into the depths of the soul,
convicts of sin and brings a person to a place of repentance.
believe God wants to transform the lives of people and institutions through
the work of the church of each city, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Matthew
6:10; Luke11:2). To begin to address the transformation of the lives of people
and institutions, we need to have an idea of where we are headed. A list of
Community Assets in each sector of our society will give us a scale for
measuring progress). Community Assets are key components in each sector and
institution that closely reflect the presence of God¹s reign on earth as it
is in heaven. A sample list of Community Assets for the Business Community is
attached. The point is that if we
hope to see these assets in our city, we need Christians who are committed to
work together from each sector on each asset to have the desired impact.
is why roundtables are an important starting point for the citywide church.
A roundtable is place where trusted Christian servant leaders from
various sectors of our society can meet to prayerfully discuss the strengths
and weaknesses of the Community Assets in their city, make and implement plans
which the whole church can employ to strengthen these assets over time.
have suggested that pastors should be the planning group for the church of a
city. Although I write from the perspective of a pastor, the church is not
composed of pastors, but of believers from many walks of life.
Each of these Christians has been called of God to serve in a vocation
where God will uniquely use them in this transformational process.
Pastors form a vital leadership pool in the church. As expositors of
the Word, vision-casters of a transformed world, lovers of souls and voices of
conscience in our culture, Pastors bring a depth of understanding to the
the church needs every member of the Body of Christ (1Corinthians 12) in order
to function effectively. Representatives
from the following sectors should be invited to attend a leadership
and Armed Services)
Others as a city
or community sees fit
leadership roundtable would be facilitated by the convener at the first
meeting and then select one of their members to serve as convener/facilitator
for subsequent meetings for the first year.
It¹s wise to have a set term for facilitators and to allow for regular
cities demand regionalization along well-understood boundaries. Each region
could have a leadership roundtable similar to the one above. In a
well-integrated model, each regional leadership roundtable would have leaders
from each category represented on the citywide leadership roundtable.
servant-leaders chosen for a leadership roundtable should meet a set of
well-understood qualifications and reflect the ethnic diversity of their city
or community. Below is a suggested list of qualifications to serve as a
A Spiritual Life: A person of true spiritual integrity; fully committed to
Jesus Christ as Lord, filled and
empowered by the Holy Spirit and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit in life
A Servant Leader: A proven leader who serves with the humble, loving,
leadership style of Jesus Christ; a transcending spirit; a networker and
coalition builder; an encourager and empowerer of others-a true Christ-like
Identified by others: A
person who is not self-selected, but rather is identified by his/her peers as
someone who is able to influence and mobilize those in his/her field.
A Godly Reputation: A Christian leader who is respected by both the Christian
community and the secular community in which he lives, works and/or ministers.
A Ministry Vision: A person of rare spiritual vision for his/her city rooted in
commitment to Jesus Christ and the advancement of His Kingdom through
ministries of united prayer, revival, reconciliation, evangelism,
disciplemaking, and church planting.
A Kingdom Focus: A leader who is committed to advance the Kingdom of our Lord
Jesus Christ by helping to facilitate ³the whole church (denominations, local
churches, ministry organizations and ministry networks) to take the whole
Gospel to the whole city.²
A Committed Collaborator: A
leader who is able to encourage and enable Christians from every segment of
the Evangelical community in the city to unite together as co-laborers in
various ministries of evangelistic outreach.
An Effective Unifier: A
leader who is able to bring together leaders of various
ethnic groups, denominations, churches, ministry networks and other
ministries to team together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to lovingly and
appropriately share His Gospel with every man, woman, young person and child
A Heart for Mentoring: A
leader who is committed personally to the ministry of mobilizing, equipping
and involving younger Christian leaders to share in the
significant ministry of collaborative evangelism.
Assets for the Business Community
Statement reflecting the call of God on the business.
Owners who serve
Jesus Christ as Lord and savior understanding that their business is the
Lord¹s and they are stewards.
(from CEO to Janitor) serves Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and honors the
directives of their supervisors.
having a clear sense of the call of God to the position and place where they
An environment of
grace and trust.
displayed in employee pay and benefit packages.
Biblical moral and
ethical business standards.
mentoring relationships encouraged.
representing diversity in gender, race, and cultures.
A spirit of grace
demonstrating the love of God and the value God places on people in peer to
peer and supervisor to employee relationships.
environment permeated with prayer.
Labor looking out for one another’s best interests.
A reputation for
integrity which comes from faith in Christ.
A benefit to the
community in which the business is located.
relationships with young people interested in entering the field of the
A spirit of
generosity expressed in the support of ministries in the community.
Concern for the
communication with neighbors and local leaders.
A willingness to
listen to others and change plans if necessary.
spirit of cooperation with other businesses to serve in strategic alliances.
A willingness to
offer their facilities to the community for other uses.
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