Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the content
Can Urban and Suburban Christians Agree?
Image: Courtesy of vic15 / flickr

Can Urban and Suburban Christians Agree?

The power of partnerships across metropolitan dividing lines.

After the four-day program, a senior administrator in the city's adult probation & parole department wrote us out of the blue: "I was moved to tears. The system set up [at True Gospel Tabernacle] was a highly functioning microcosm of the entire criminal justice system…. This was the practice of our profession in its highest form…. Those who proselytize about the separation of church and state should have been there too." Indeed, when Bishop McNear was asked by the media about separation of church and state, he replied, "This is cooperation of church and state—the law informed by grace." The program continues at the church in a more limited form, under the authority of the city's President Judge, as Philadelphia Peaceful Surrender. It also helped launch a new era of inter-agency collaboration in city government.

Spirit, Prayer, and Power

Urban-suburban ministry partnerships like ours do not happen without the same divine enabling that accompanied the original Pentecost. There must be an agreement of spirit, prayer, purpose and power. The Holy Spirit must be the guiding light of any ministry partnership. Whenever different groups of people come together, we bring our varying cultures, concerns, and core values, all informed by our faith traditions. Only deep spiritual agreement will allow the partners to respect each other's religious and cultural context and see them as an asset to ministry partnership.

This spiritual agreement leads naturally to the next ingredient: prayer. Ministry partnerships must saturate their work in prayer. Regardless of the gifts and talents that each member brings to the table, it is God who will give success and effectiveness. Partnerships also require each partner to bring their power: their particular skills and gifts. Each side needs to contribute leadership, management, influence, and resources.

1234  

Rethinking the $3,000 Missions Trip

Rethinking the $3,000 Missions Trip

When I learned that kids in my city couldn't swim, I started to rethink how much I'd invested in overseas missions.
Furniture Fit for the Kingdom

Furniture Fit for the Kingdom

For Harrison Higgins, building beautiful furniture is not simply a steady job but a sacrament unto God.
Faith in a Fallen Empire

Faith in a Fallen Empire

Detroit's list of maladies is long. But some Christians' commitment to its renewal is longer.
'Daddy, Why Do People Steal from Us?'

'Daddy, Why Do People Steal from Us?'

How I answered the question would prove crucial to addressing racial divides in our D.C. neighborhood.

Comments Are Closed

No comments

SUPPORT THIS IS OUR CITY

Make a contribution to help support the This Is Our City project and the nonprofit ministry Christianity Today.Learn more ...

TWITTER

RT @MissionYear: A great collection of articles from @ct_city @CTmagazine http://t.co/OLmjHvUIfr

In honor of Kim Newlen, a friend of @ct_city who died Saturday, we share our story of her battle with cancer: http://t.co/S3FGKhVDuo

RT @CTmagazine: After three years, hundreds of stories, thousands of readers, our tribute to This Is Our City: http://t.co/Gz35NhAdqc @ct_c2026

The top 10 stories of @editor @KatelynBeaty picks her favorites and reflects on lessons learned in 3 years: http://t.co/BQxYdaoyD9

"As a community we have to do a better job of rescuing these young people." The newest (and last) City video: http://t.co/vZL0cRKO7H #RVA