Essential Components in City Transformational Movement
Listed below are 7 categories or tracks that are essential for City Reaching efforts. City Reaching can best be defined by the words of Jack Dennison author of City Reaching. “City Reaching is the ongoing process of mobilizing the whole body of Christ in a geographic area to strategically focus all their resources on reaching the whole city with the whole Gospel, resulting in the transformation of the city and its societies.”
The categories or tracks listed below need to be implemented at a grass roots level in order for City Reaching to be effective. They need not be implemented sequentially but need to be implemented simultaneously. There are no specific completion dates of each category but they are ongoing processes.
Under each category I am giving some ideas and tools of what needs to be done and much more can be added, altered, or deleted.
I Vision Casting:
There is a constant need to clearly cast a passionate vision for Reaching the City. Many churches, organizations, and individuals are merely dwelling in a city rather than the city dwelling in them. Vision Casting enables people to begin to get a vision for their city, neighborhood, or territory where God has placed them. Vision Casting should include information about the harvest force (how many churches are within that defined area) and the harvest field (what kinds of people groups, problems, and pains) are in that same area. Often times people do not realized the opportunities and needs right around them and while they may have a legitimate burden for a far away place they do not have a burden for the needs right around them because the are not informed.
Some ways we can do vision casting is by:
Developing Manuals that propagate the concepts of City Reaching such as the Chennai Net Manual done in
Prayer Saturation. A comprehensive strategy to saturate the entire city with all kinds of prayer.
Prayer Concerts: Evenings of prayer for the City.
Houses of Prayer Everywhere: Missions is developing this concept in and they can help us multiply it across the city.
Prayer Coordinators: Each section of the city needs a full time prayer coordinator that organizes prayer events, prayer walks, prayer drives, etc.
Stadium Prayer Events: These are events that bring a large section of the church together for either all day or all night prayer events.
IV Strategic Prayer: This is a bit different from the category preceding as these events promote a specific kind of prayer that breaks the divisions that are commonly found in cities that inhibit effective City transformation efforts from taking place.
Prayer Summits: Prayer Summits are in the words of Colin Shaw is “A prolonged four day, life changing worship experience attended by a diversity of Christian leaders from specific communities whose singular purpose is to seek God, His Kingdom and His Righteousness with the expectation that He will create and guide them through a humbling, healing, uniting process which will lead them to a unity of heart, mind and mission, and will qualify them for the blessing of God. What happens after a prayer summit? A. Leaders have fresh hope for their City. B. Strategies begin to emerge for their city. C. Greater spiritual release occurs. D. Accountability groups are formed. E. Greater attendance in Pastors Prayer Fellowships occurs. F. The Church in the City begins to have greater credibility and impact.
Reconciliation: These are events that address some of the deeper wounds of the city. It may be the British/India problem or may address the caste, gender, language, or racial problems found in our churches and in society at large.
Planting is a strategy for planting one church amongst every 1000 people in the city.
People Group Approach: Church planting and outreach by identifying the people groups within our cities such as the Gujarati’s of or the Bihari’s of Kolkatta, or the Maharastrians of Chennai.
c. Cell Churches
d. Laity Training
d. Cross-Cultural Migrants
a. 7 Mind Molders: This is a term coined by Loren Cunningham of YWAM. It refers to the sections of society that make a city strong or weak. Mobilizing the laity in the church to reach these areas by making disciples and impacting their areas with Kingdom values is essential in reaching the city. IMA is beginning to form these groups in Chennai. The 7 areas are:
Arts: which include the following: Music, Painting, Sculpture, Poetry, Dance, Cinema.
Business: Commerce, Corporations, Small businesses, industries etc.
Church: which also includes the ministries of reaching to the oppressed and poor.
Distribution of Media: Newspapers, internet, Magazines, Television
Education: Schools, Colleges, Universities, etc.
Family: which includes family counseling, marriage, child development,
Government: Law, Police, Judges, government ministers etc.
We can also add into these the fields of Medical, Science and Technology, and Economics.
b. Other methods of evangelism such as open airs, crusades, door to door, coffeehouse, Prayer Stations, or whatever is relevant from city to city.
Acts of Kindness: This is a concept that needs to be developed in our sections of the city. South East Chennai is looking at a garbage cleaning program. These acts of kindness are done to demonstrate the church’s commitment to their area.
Ministry to the marginalized: Blind, Deaf, Street children, lepers, destitutes, AIDS, etc.
Micro Enterprise to the working Poor: Saving Schemes are now in operation through Intermission, Bridge Foundation and others to empower the working poor in Chennai.
Community Development Work.
Written by Tim Svoboda June 5, 2001