By Tiana Murray
adapted from Global City Mission newsletter
The church has a habit of drawing people out of their spheres of
influence. People commute twenty or more minutes away to service, are
encouraged to get involved in this church ministry or that Bible study,
and then spend the rest of their weeks in their respective
neighborhoods, far from the church and the church community as a whole.
The extraction of believers from their local communities waters down the
potential influence churches and Christians could have in the places
they work, live, and interact on a daily basis.
In the same vein, Christians have a habit of trying to draw people into
the church to be saved rather than meeting non-believers where they are
at. Rather than getting deeply involved in the communities in which they
reside, surrounding themselves with the unreached people groups around
them, Christians extract potential believers from their families and
communities and bring them within the church walls. Of course,
Christians should gather to worship together regularly, but far deeper
ministry and relationships can be built directly within a person's
immediate circle of influence.
Global City Mission aims to share the Gospel through individuals
embedded in their communities, making "outposts of Kingdom life where
people already live out their lives." Christians are not called to bring
the world to them, but to go into all the world and make disciples of
all nations. "All the world" starts in the communities in which we find
ourselves, and in fact, New York has brought "all the world" to us.
The established community of many people groups is more important than
the church realizes. These potential believers have to wrestle with the
questions, "How will this affect my family? What will my
Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist neighbors think? Will I still be accepted?" By not
reaching out to people where they are at, the church misses out on the
opportunity to reach out where the Gospel is the most relevant to their
Furthermore, through reaching out to individuals in their communities,
the Gospel is able to spread organically through new believers who come
from cultures where the group dynamic is of the utmost importance.
Global City Mission says, "Persons of peace are the gateway people
through whom a new community of faith may emerge in a neighborhood
and/or among a people group. Each person of peace represents the
potential of a new church." By reaching out to individuals in their
communities, whole people groups can have the opportunity to hear the
Good News of Jesus. This is a key to sustainable church growth: the
outsider steps back to let the Holy Spirit move through local,
insider-individuals to reach whole communities.
As Christians, we must have a presence in our local communities,
bringing the Gospel to the people we see daily, rather than relying on a
church building to do the work for us. Only then will the Gospel become
a part of the fabric of community life among the unreached peoples of