Transforming the Life of a City

If given opportunity, I would sincerely desire to be part of the spiritual architectural team that is given the mandate to help design "church without walls!"

The walls I refer to are not just the church-house walls, but walls that so easily divide us - race, gender, economics, culture, education, and giftings.

One of the greatest ways The Powerlife Project can impact a community, city, or nation is by serving as a catalyst for orchestrating the proclamation and tangible expression of "relational synergism" - people working together for greater purposes realized only through concerted efforts.

Cities all over the world are experiencing the results of synergism. New paradigm, ministry models are being birthed by God through people. New collaborate partnerships among church, business, and civic leaders are becoming the new paradigms of the 21st Century.

The application and benefits of new paradigm, ministry models are still in development; therefore, we have only scratched the surface in postmodern, ministry expression. The life-changing, growth and transformation of any community or city are based upon seven (7) important factors:

The success in communicating a compelling vision for transformation that is urgent, relevant, and anchored.
The fertility of the culture's environment for the planting and growing of new paradigm, ministry models.
The realization in creating an accepted local coalition that guides the transformation process.
The ability to "connect" people in solid relationships that grow in depth and maturity.
The level of commitment, responsibility, and accountability of local community people to common purposes and goals.
The flexible and functional nature of effective organizational processes.
The willingness of Christians to focus on God's will and bond together in "relational synergism."

Jesus understood what city-church was all about. He wrote John 17:20-23,

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

The 1st Century Church understood how cities can be transformed.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31).

God is still at work transforming entire cities around the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Consider the documented reports about Almolonga, Guatemala. Before and after: two simple words frequently used to describe Almolonga, a town in western Guatemala. Locals consistently refer to it in terms of two eras: the period before the power of God came in the mid-1970s and the period after, when 90 percent of the 19,000 residents became born-again Christians.

Before revival, Almolonga was gripped by fear, poverty, disease, idolatry and alcoholism. Today the town is called "The Miracle City" because of the radical changes that have occurred among these Quiche Indians, who are descendants of the ancient Mayans.

Not only did the Lord save and heal the people - He healed the land! Today Almolonga produces the largest and best vegetables, which has caused Almolonga to be known as the "vegetable garden of America". Some Christian leaders say Almolonga is the best example they've seen of how intercession and evangelism can transform a community.

How about what happened in Cali, Columbia? The 1995 murder of a prominent evangelical pastor in Cali, Columbia, has sparked an intense revival in the city and its churches. The assassination of Julio Ruibal prompted the pastors of Cali in Colombia to seek greater unity based on a pattern of united prayer.

This brought massive changes in the city, including the fall of the notorious Cali drug cartel. The church in Cali comes together quarterly for all-night prayer sessions, asking God to pour out His Spirit on its community. More than 60,000 believers from 200-plus churches gather in the city's soccer stadium for these sessions. Cali still possesses problems, but since these events began, the notorious drug cartels have disappeared, and churches are experiencing tremendous growth.

Take a look at Kiambu, Kenya, a city of 60,000, which was steeped in witchcraft, has experienced church growth in the wake of prayer--significant in an area where no church has ever grown beyond 30 or 40 believers.

Also consider what happened in Hemet, California where a cult-bound, gang-plagued city became a community sold out to God, with doubled church attendance.

Consider the true story about how God used a 16-year old high school student from Wichita, Kansas to spark a revival that impacted an entire city. Armed only with her Bible and her personal testimony of Christ, Sherri Howard planted the first small group Bible study on her school campus.

Little did she know that God was about to use her to ignite a huge flaming revival among young people in Wichita. Sherri's courage and witness for Christ inspired other students to plant evangelistic cells on other school campuses in the city, resulting in thousands of young people coming to the Lord. Church and parachurch leaders partnered with parents in prayer and evangelism. The results were phenomenal.

Since that time, over 10,000 "student-led" Bible studies and prayer groups have been planted on school campuses all across the United States, and it all began with one commmited Christian.

America is now beginning to experience what can happen when Christians unite in prayer, purpose, and transformation. City-reaching coalitions are being formed all across America. They are tearing down the walls that divide and building bridges that foster "relational synergism." God is not finished with the Church in America. Now is the time to embrace renewal...revival...and reformation.

For many years I have often heard it said by church leaders, "Revival is something we must wait for. When it comes, we will all rejoice and be glad. Until then, we will wait upon the Lord." Yes, it is true that God can do more in a five-minute sovereign move than what church-people can do in hundreds of years. And yes, history does record sovereign moves of God that transformed people and their communities. Recent reports of God's sovereign revivals are still echoed around the world.

However, these sovereign moves of God seem to be single-focuses and not broad-based to reverse the current state of affairs for Christians and churches, especially in America. Statistics show that 85% of the churches in America are stagnant and in decline. Could this possible mean that God is ready for transformation; but for the most part, we are not.

Maybe it is time for us to draw a line of demarcation in the sand and decide which side to stand, whether it be: complacency or self-motivated forward motion; status quo or creating vision for future actions; segregated ideologies or tangible expressions of unity of purpose; the fear of man or the fear of God; fight change or lead change. The choice is ours, and it is never to late to make a good decision.

Fortunately, there is hope! Hundreds of thousands of Christians from all over the world have transitioned to new paradigm, ministry models. Thousands of churches are making transitions and experiencing transformation. City-church initiatives are being birthed everywhere with the goal of taking their cities for Christ. Christian are now coming to realize that city transformation can happen!

New paradigm, ministry models have been successful in starting the "process" of transformation. They provide a platform for good communications, activities for drawing and connecting people together, and organizational vehicles for empowering synergistic ministry teams.

This has enhanced the labors of Christians to cast vision for unity of purpose among local church, business, and civic leaders. If they all can see it; they can all be it! This also helps new paradigm,
ministry models to grow, develop, and expand their influence.

These might include:

Strategic prayer networks, empowered by local intercessors that are ecumenical in nature.
Local ecumenical coalitions which build relationships and accomplish city-reaching, ministry tasks.
Area-wide conferences, seminars, and events that advance spiritual awakening, renewal, and revival.
Recognition and rewards events that celebrate the personal accomplishes of individuals and coalition teams.
The developments of Christian Community Foundations which provide new alternatives in resource development that help the ministries planted within local communities and neighboring geographic area.
































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