Once, while speaking about the kingdom of God, Jesus issued a radical, life-changing promise to his listeners: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and God will take care of your everyday concerns” (Matt. 6:33). First of all, what exactly is the kingdom of God? Second, what does it mean to seek it first? One way to understand God’s kingdom is to think of it as life as it was meant to be lived. It’s God’s original design – His blueprint – for how men and women should live in relationship with God and one another. It’s life where Jesus is king and rules and reigns over His creation, and everything is as it should be. To seek God’s kingdom first is to invest everything – our time, talent, and treasure – in Jesus’ kingdom vision for how things should be.
What does that practically look like? Jesus explained it this way:
You are the salt of the earth. Salt is great for seasoning and bringing out flavor but if you lose that flavor, you’ve lost your usefulness. You are the light of the world. A city that is built on a hill can’t be hidden. No one lights a lamp and hides it under a basket. So let your light shine for others to see. Let them see the good that you do for God and praise Him for it.
Jesus was a bonafide revolutionary who called His followers to lead revolutionary lives. He taught them a better way to live that was in direct conflict with cultural norms. His way is marked by love for God and neighbor, compassion for the helpless and hopeless, care for the sick and grieving, sacrifice for the greater good and well-being of others, and radical generosity to those in need.
For Jesus, the path to seeing His kingdom vision become a reality would come through His followers, the Church. He would change the world through them by calling and empowering them to live in such a way that they cannot be ignored. To be the salt that adds flavor to and preserves relationships and communities. To be the light that illuminates the beauty of the gospel through His followers seeking more of God in their lives and wanting others to experience the real Jesus. To know this rebel who launched a counter-cultural movement that continues to change individuals and whole societies from the inside out.
A GOD-SIZED VISION FOR THE CITY
Jesus also taught His followers to pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Today, Jesus is advancing His kingdom through His church, the greatest hope for the world. His kingdom expands as we, His Church, serve side-by-side for the sake of the gospel and the city. We come together to fulfill God’s kingdom purposes “on earth as it is in heaven.” As we seek not to polish the brass on a sinking ship that is this world but to build flourishing communities that reflect the light, love, and life that is Jesus Christ.
This is the God-sized vision of the kingdom Jesus gives His Church. It’s a story that Jesus invites you into something bigger than yourself and bigger than your local church. It’s a role He has given you and the churches of our city in the dramatic events taking place right now in your neighborhoods and communities. God is on the move, and He’s calling us to move with him together for the welfare of the city and its flourishing (Jeremiah 29:7).
A WORTHY INVESTMENT
Love is an action, and we, the Church, are called to act for the sake of our city. Jesus likened the kingdom of God to treasure hidden in a field. One day, a man stumbled upon that treasure and, as Jesus told it, “in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44). From the overflow of the joy the gospel gives us, we are motivated to action and inspired to give even more of our time, talent, and treasure for God’s movement.
Investing in Jesus’s God-sized vision for our city is the most worthwhile investment you could ever make, with the promise of an incredible ROI (return on investment). Imagine what it would look like for you and your church to invest in this God-sized vision and make an even more significant impact in your community by working with other churches to make this vision a reality in the here and now.
Imagine your church taking its position “on the wall” for a month to pray on behalf of all churches for God’s kingdom work in the city. Imagine your church coming together with other churches in unity and solidarity for One Voice to seek the Lord in prayer together.
Imagine well-equipped leaders training other leaders in your church and other churches in the essentials of the faith and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Imagine what difference it would make to your community to have leaders leading others like Jesus.
Imagine vital families being rebuilt within your church and community. Imagine thriving marriages and families marked by love, commitment, and care instead of strife, neglect, and abuse. Imagine people in your church connect with your community through a church-school sponsorship to help students read at grade level. Imagine churches working together to address your community’s real and felt needs. Imagine the collective impact that would have on countless lives in your community.
Imagine the lives that would be impacted and changed now and for future generations if we worked together to build a flourishing community. To see impact, we must come together and…
- Believe we are better together
- Unite in extraordinary prayer
- Equip leaders who train leaders
- Rebuild flourishing families
- Invest in the movement
DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS
We believe that Jesus has given us a God-sized vision for our city. He is already on the move, and we expect that greater things are to come. We don’t have to settle for less than God’s best and what He wants for us and our city. Together we can build a flourishing community with even more people finding the life-changing joy of the gospel, that “treasure hidden in a field.” Together we can impact our city for God’s kingdom in ways that reach beyond what one church could accomplish on its own.
The mission of CityChurch Network is to help churches work together for the flourishing of our city. We do this by helping churches unite in extraordinary prayer, equip leaders who train leaders, and rebuild vital families in communities throughout our city. We are building bridges throughout the city to help churches and whole communities see the collective impact they can have when they work together for the sake of the city.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
You and your church can play a significant role in our mission by helping us expand God’s kingdom in our city as partners. By giving monthly as a Kingdom Builder, you help fuel God’s movement and expand our efforts to connect with more churches in our city. By partnering with us through Extraordinary Prayer, Trained Leaders, or ReBuilding Vital Families, your church puts its stake in the most impactful message we can send to our community. That we are better together. That we will be known for our unity and love for one another. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:33).
If you’re excited about God’s plans for our city, consider becoming a Kingdom Builder today. Just go to our secure giving site to set up your monthly gift. If you would like to learn more by talking to one of our team members about how your church can partner with us, contact Ray Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org).