Pastors' Prayer Network
NPPN ... Explain your role in Tampa Bay. What is Somebody Cares.. and why do you care?
Daniel Bernard... I am President and pioneer/Founder of Somebody Cares Tampa Bay. I was born and raised in the bay area but was gone for 20 years before returning in 1997. I felt the Lord wanted me to bring churches together to work to impact the bay area in a greater way. One way we are doing that is by collectively mobilizing God's people in a variety of ways.
NPPN ... What is your vision for Tampa Bay; what would the city "look and feel" like if the transformation you hope and pray and work for came to pass?
DB... The Tampa Bay area has been impacted but not yet transformed. It has seen a major change in the spiritual atmosphere in the last 7 years but we are still moving towards transformation. In my opinion, nothing could stop the church if the church would be the church. It would look like...The church spontaneously and boldly witnessing on a daily basis. People opening their homes to unwed mothers. The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord prevailing where participants in x-rated clubs fall under conviction. Members of the cult, Scientology, respond to the light of the gospel and their buildings being used as a missionary training sending base for the church. Spontaneous worship would take place during a Tampa Bay Bucs game and people repenting. The elderly in our community get radically saved and pursue the things of God. The youth would have humility and yet a boldness, a near reckless abandonment to what anyone thought but only cared to please and obey God daily. Their consistent distinct witness would penetrate teachers and principals. Members would sacrificially give not in the church offering but to see their neighbors and those in the inner city receive a tangible expression of God's love daily.
Tampa Bay, the Bay of the Holy Spirit, would be a catalyst in birthing revival in other cities.
NPPN ... Your book, City Impact, has recently been released. How do you define city reaching and why did you write a book on the subject?
DB... I would define city reaching as getting each member of the body of Christ in a community to fulfill their role in reaching their immediate sphere of influence. As each does that, hopefully, there will be an awareness that their obedience is necessary to seeing Christ Church fulfill its destiny of reaching and/or transforming their city.
NPPN ... What makes this book (and your perspective) different?
DB... This book is not how to evangelize or grow your church. It is a book that cast the vision through the examples of individual members and the corporate body can do to impact their city. Several times over as we combine resources and seek to exalt Christ. The byproduct is creative methods and avenues to share our faith are created to change lives. City Impact offers us a choice to see God's WOW in our communities by working together. And doing so close the door on the current and future WOE the enemy has brought into most of our cities.
NPPN ... You identify several city transforming components. Why is each one vital?
DB... Unity among churches is vital because Jesus said the world would know the father has sent Him. Lack of unity according to Jesus would hinder the revelation of him on the earth.
Bringing local pastors coming together as spiritual leaders is a must. They should be the one by their example towards one another that would create a spiritual atmosphere the work of the Holy Spirit to prevail.
Marketplace leaders have the financial ability and the natural vision to touch their communities. They also are in touch with more of the lost world needing a witness of our Lord than anyone else in our community.
The ministry to the poor is essential. It was poignant that Ted Haggard said, "Compassion releases the work of the Holy Spirit in a city and closes the operation of Satan." In the book I mention 27 reasons why the church needs the poor. One of the reasons is that "preaching the gospel to the poor was what Jesus defined Jesus as the Messiah to John the Baptist and should define us as His followers." Ministry to the poor brings back credibility to the church.
Prayer is the foundation for all we do. The spiritual climate in our city, over individual homes only happens as we pray. We began Somebody Cares Tampa Bay with a two year program called "The Year of Answered Prayer" where the bay area was saturated with prayer. The result of unified prayer has manifested blessings in Tampa Bay.
NPPN ... What encourages and enthuses you?
DB... Judgment was pronounced upon Jerusalem because they did not perceive the time of their visitation. I am excited because as George Otis, Jr. has documented not only cities but whole nations are seeing transformation. I believe many cities in America perceive that its time we join together agree with God to fulfill His destiny for our communities. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ is God's gift to each community as we serve together we become that gift. As the church fulfills its role as God's gift to a community each aspect of society can be transformed.
NPPN ... Daniel, please write a prayer that city reachers can pray along with for, each of us for our own city...
DB... Holy Spirit, pour your love into my heart so we can love one another and the lost into the Kingdom. Give me the grace to continue and not give up. I know that is your perfect will. You are coming back for a bride not a harem. This is the way the church is to behave from now until you return. Give me the strength to stay the course.
I want to see the reality of you being manifested and glorified in my community as the King of the Universe. Reveal all wisdom and knowledge to me and my fellow leaders to know your strategy to see that come about. Give us ears to hear what the spirit is saying to our city. Help us to identify and obey your voice no matter who you choose to speak through.
Thank you for putting me in this city at this time to fulfill your purposes. I love you, Jesus. Amen.
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