Keys to Transformation - Page 2

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Quotes from those at the frontline

Katy, Texas

"The growing "city transformation" movement that is seeing leaders put aside their differences to work together in new ways to impact their cities for God.

"We have chosen to put many of the things that are near and dear to us personally aside so that we can come together as brothers and sisters who have a common calling, which is the spiritual welfare of this community," said Charles Wisdom, senior pastor of First Baptist Church and recently designated "elder" of the Church of Katy. Going beyond traditional ministerial fellowships, the "city transformation" movement is bringing pastors together to pray, plan and work beyond the scope of their own walls. Around 25 leaders from local churches meet together each week in Katy. "There's a deep love and commitment to one another," Wisdom said. "We really want to see the other guy flourish and his church do well." That spirit of cooperation is replacing the previous "competition and turf protection," he said.

Jack Dennison, Citireach Movement USA

Whereas previous attempts at building unity centred on events--after which participating churches usually went back to doing their own thing--the new moves were being based in relationships. "The Scriptures tell us that there is a spiritual power that is released in the midst of unity," Dennison said. "There's a great spiritual effectiveness when the body of Christ is linked together and functioning as a healthy body--in all its diversity and heritage--than when it functions in a dismembered way."

Congregations that are part of a "city church" can maximise their resources and avoid duplication of effort, instead of competing for "dollars, territory, people," said Jon Sharpe, who heads Reach Seattle, the group coordinating citywide efforts there. Next month they start City Discovery Tours that will take congregational groups on visits to urban ministries to get a better feel for the parts of their city that they don't routinely visit.

Jim Herrington, Mission Houston

"We believe that God has a strategy for the transformation of the city, and that He will only reveal it when there's real, substantive unity that is based in relationships. It's not about cooperating once on a project. It's a whole new way of life for the church."


Dennison said that initiatives like those in Houston and Seattle were rediscovering a Bible truth. "In our isolation we have lost our capacity to affect real change [in society] because each group and individual is living much like Israel did at the time of the judges, with each one doing what is right in his own eyes," he said. "But when you look at the New Testament, you see that the church in a city was seen as one church in many congregations."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 June 2006 08:37


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