Yesterday at City on a Hill Church I announced our God sized citywide outreach “For The City”. I was so stoked to share with everyone the vision, goal, and purpose behind this event. I was totally thrilled with the response as I shared my heart. I looked out into a congregation filled with people genuinely enthusiastic and excited about loving God by loving our city.
Can you dream with me for a minute? Dream with me and imagine a whole church mobilizing loving on each other and living out Acts 2 through the Stuff Swap where everyone brings what they don’t need or feels lead to share and takes what they do need. Directly following the Stuff Swap we saddle up and go out into the city to distribute bread to hundreds of home and blankets and socks to the homeless and ask for nothing in return. We just bring a message that God loves and cares about them. I can see it now in my mind’s eye, someone praying, “God if your real knock on my door.” and then they hear a knock. I get filled with emotion and anticipation just praying about, dreaming about, and believing God for these kind of divine appointments. Going and not asking anyone for anything rather saying, “God sent me to give you this bread/ blanket/ socks today because He loves you.”
Isaiah 58 resonates in my spirit. One particular verse strikes me with unrestrained hope. Vs. 8a says, “Then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up speedily.” It says your healing will spring up speedily. Our healing and hope is found in bringing hope and healing to others. Church isn’t a place we “go” it is who we “are”. If we can make this switch and connection in our brains we will realize we can never leave something that we “are”. Churches will begin to grow and live out the Gospel in real and tangible ways. We will live Christ centered, cross centered, Gospel centered lives that will bring hope and health to our city, our churches, and ultimately our lives.
Isaiah 58:1-5 reveals a group of people playing church. A group of people who viewed church as a place to “go”. A religious practice without any relational aspect. They went through the motions in attempts to demonstrate their love for God but they ignored what God loves most, people. They even got mad at God when He didn’t do what they wanted Him to do for them. They were self-focused full of self-righteousness. I don’t want that for City on a Hill Church. We are just an 18 month old baby. Right now we are learning how to walk in the city and we are just getting our voice in the city. By God’s grace I desire for us to build, become, and be a city within a city reaching our city with the life changing message of Jesus Christ one life at a time. We can only do that by Loving God, Loving People, and Preaching Jesus. We can only remain successful in God’s eyes if we remember daily, “It is all about Jesus it has always been about Jesus and it will always be about Jesus.” Then we won’t ever live out Isaiah 58:1-5 instead we will live out Isaiah 58:6-14.
November 13 we will live out Isaiah 58 to an even greater degree than we already have. Since we opened we have partnered with the Dream Center, The Next Step Pregnancy Center, and St. Vincent DePaul to bring hope in our city. We have sent a team to Belize to share the Gospel on foreign soil. On November 13 our whole church will mobilize as an Army of Hope heading into our city to share the love of Christ and advance the Gospel. This is a mission trip that every member and every family member can go on together. This is a all church missions trip right into the heart of our city. What is even more exciting is we are partnering with our partner ministry the Dream Center for sustainable relationships and results for years to come. This is no one hit wonder or feel good tour. This is a chance to come along side a ministry that is on the front lines, deep in the trenches sharing Christ and advancing the Gospel. We can help them do what would take them months if not years to do in an afternoon. Come on, that has to get you excited!