"What can we do together that we can't do on our own?"

The question silenced a room full of local church leaders at an organizational meeting for a city-reaching network. It was a jolt to the thinking of those who understood themselves as representatives of their individual congregations instead of a city-wide, big-C church, with many expressions and in many locations.

But they had me at the word together.

That word led to my own involvement in a local city-reaching network several years ago. It's been a delight to see churches that had once labored side-by-side like disconnected silos begin to interact with one another in meaningful community service, prayer, fellowship, and learning. The big-C church in my area has a way to go in terms of fully responding to the prayer Jesus prayed for his followers, but there have been some encouraging first steps over the past few years.

Eric Swanson and Sam Williams have served and/or coached other leaders in city-reaching church networking movements around the world, and have penned a practical guide for those interested in the notion entitled To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan). The book's subtitle comes from the Lausanne Movement and reflects the power of gospel-rooted collaboration.

The book attempts to construct a theological framework for the notions of "city" and "kingdom." The authors write,

The church serves as a living proof of the kingdom, a community where the world can see what marriage, family life, business practices, work habits, generosity, mercy, race relations—all of life—look like when lived under the rule and authority of Jesus Christ …. Spreading the kingdom of God is more than simply winning men and women to Christ. ...
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