I am from Varginha, a small town in the south of my state, Minas Gerais in Brazil. This city became famous because of an event similar to what happen in Roswell, N.M. here in the US. When I grew up it was just a small city between the two state capitals Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais and São Paulo city, capital of the São Paulo state.
Cities are places where people live and work, just that. But now we are seeing a population explosion of some cities in the world. São Paulo city already has more than 19 million inhabitants. Mexico City is bigger, and there are other cities around the world nearing that size. Other larger cities emphasize the life style, the safety, or the architecture. Some of them are very old, and have experienced many changes throughout the centuries. Others are just beginning.
One characteristic that is marking every city nowadays is the diversity. We are living in a world that is moving. What we are seeing now is that people are coming to the city from different states, backgrounds, countries, and cultures. Sometimes we can hardly understand them. Normally they pick an area and live together until they learn the language and become bold enough to move out of that neighborhood. Some people like their city and some hate it. But whether we like it or not, it is important for us to see our city in a different way. If we do that, it will make a big difference. We just have to shift a little bit and how we see it.
The first thing that we must understand is that God loves that city and has a plan for it. It does not matter if you like it or not, God loves it. In your city there are people for whom Jesus died. God cares for them, and would like to be known by them. The second thing that is attached to the first one is that the city is a mission field. God in His wisdom put different people together in one place just to give us the opportunity to reach them with the Gospel.
If you read the New Testament, you will find that Jesus and the apostles had an intense ministry inside the cities. The people were there, the synagogue was already established, and the temples for other gods were there, giving them the opportunity to talk about the wonderful message of the Gospel.
The problem with us is that we do not want to think outside of the box to find different ways to reach the city with the Gospel. We prefer that they change and then come to our church. We must reach them, even if they do not come to our church. Jesus called us to make disciples and proclaim the Good News. Getting the church to grow is not our main priority. Do not get me wrong, I really want my church to grow, but that is not our primary call.
Jesus put the city in this place and then put the church here so His message would be shared, people would have a place to worship Him, and they would learn about His Word.
What are you doing to reach out to your city?
Have a blessed week,