My Experience with God’s City-My City- Pr. Richie Halversen

imprrh@gmail.com —  January 25, 2013

Pastor Richie is one of the rising stars in our denomination. If you haven’t heard about him, you should. He just finished using the GCMC program. Here are his thoughts: (picture below is the opening night of his evangelism event)

“I have had a burden for city/urban ministry for many years. It was because of people doing ministry in the city that my family came to know, love, and be transformed by the Gospel.  

My church was going to be having a major, citywide, evangelistic series (which we are currently in the middle of…God is blessing).  I have used many different resources to prep the church for evangelism. For this meeting I chose to go with God’s City: My City by Roger Hernandez.

We started the series exactly six weeks before the evangelistic series. Each week we met corporately as a church to discuss the lesson. Prayer partners, and small groups, met to pray together and discussed the daily prayer assignments also during this time.

What is so great about My City: God’s City is the balance of bible study, prayer, and witnessing exercises. Every day, for 40 days, we were challenged to pray for certain aspects of our upcoming meeting, as well as take action to secure the success of the meeting, i.e. invite a friend, pray for people you would be inviting, share your faith etc.

Through this series we saw how the Bible is clear; God loves cities. Cities filled with crime, drugs, poverty, and liberally-lived lives. God loves the places we, very often, fear to tread. Maybe we fear the city’s sinfulness will rub off on us. We’re afraid its immorality will pollute us like the smog that fills its skies. But what if it was your child living in the city? What if the city was your home? Would you be so quick to neglect the city? It was while pondering this that it hit me. No wonder God loves cities…they’re filled with his children.  As a result of this series we saw 3 things happen. We saw a change of attitude toward the city, revival in the city, and rejoicing with the city.

1.      Attitude: Many peoples attitude toward the city began to change. The emphasis on the need to evangelize and serve the city helped remove obstacles and preconceived ideas about the church’s role in the city.  We saw prejudices begin to be broken down. We saw a genuine love begin to develop for the city.

2.      Revival: The emphasis on daily prayer, and prayer groups, brought a spiritual revival that manifested itself in greater witnessing and love. People stepped out of the comfort zone, because they saw how Christ stepped out of heaven for them.

3.      Rejoicing: On the opening night of our meetings we had 180 visitors attend and close to 100 members attend. The church was so full we had to add a row of seats in the back of the church. People saw how their prayer, love, encounter with the city made a difference. There was great rejoicing seeing God work a miracle before our eyes. We started our meetings in the church, which any one who has done evangelism knows, was a great turnout!

 

Why do we need to do ministry in the city? Ultimately, it is because the city is where most of God’s children live. We do ministry in the city because the gospel is the only thing that can bring lasting change. Because the church is the only organization that battles the real, underlining, problem…sin.

God’s City: My Cityis one of the best pre-work evangelism series I have ever used. It is Christ-centered and shaped by the Gospel.

Truly, It is an experience with the gospel that will propel us into the city with an attitude of love. Why? The Gospel reveals a God willing to leave the comforts of heaven for us. If Jesus was willing to do that, surely I can leave the comforts of my suburban neighborhood and go into the sin-filled city. If we want to reach more cultures, professions, and lives we need to go into the city.  It’s where the people are!

Only by ministering a ministry shaped by the gospel in our cities is the city’s real need addressed. And it’s when the church does that, that according to Acts 8:8 there will be much joy in that city.

 

By Richie Halversen

Follow on Twitter: @richie59

richiehalversen.com

imprrh@gmail.com

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