Q Ideas City Leaders Gathering – April 11, 2018
Just about every working day I get to talk with leaders around the world laboring in cities. They have conviction, they have passion, but they’re eager to learn just how you accelerate, sustain or cultivate a gospel movement.
A gospel movement:
- When a city’s Christian population is growing faster than the general population. Where a critical mass of believers gather, Christianity begins to have a disproportionate effect on the population’s values and beliefs. The gospel begins to spread organically and spontaneously, without external control.
One thing which is abundantly clear to me is that a gospel movement is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to perceive the new thing God is doing, be discerning, and ask God what’s my role? We are called to steward the movement. We didn’t start it.
A gospel movement is a movement of unity because no one person can say I started this. We can only attest to having played apart. It’s a movement that continually divest us of pride and compels us to be humble. Because in this movement the power of God is on display in human lives and in cities. Only resurrection power of Jesus Christ can yield the results of wide-scale city transformation, not our awesomeness or our giftings.
The commissioning call of Christ to His Church is always upon us. God seeks those that will answer the call to co-labor with Him in advancing the Kingdom in Cities. We don’t hear stories of divided armies being successful. City leadership is a call which has to be answered. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”” – Isaiah 6:8 NIV
In the 24 hour news cycle of moments, city transformation is a redemption movement which began over 2,000 years ago.
What will it take?
The questions of leaders who sense God’s call to serve in cities caused me to think about the type of leadership needed in this space:
- City leaders are some of the most deeply sacrificial leaders I know. Their daily work is not to build brands but to promote Kingdom and with Kingdom work what matters is what do I need to do see God be glorified in the midst of such brokenness and oftentimes despair. (Sacrificial)
- The weight of responsibility can seem daunting, the divisions within the body can seem like chasms which will never be crossed, but yet there is something within side of you, a future hope, which compels you to move forward and to not be dismayed by what you see. (Spirit-led)
- City leaders are influential unifiers. Conveners by nature. Peacemakers, not peacefakers. (Influencers)
What does God require of city leaders personally?
- Leaders who will courageously pursue truth. Becoming authentic in their administration of leadership.
- Leave a trail of bridging divides not perpetuating them.
- The byproduct of our leadership is unity and not division.
- Trailblazers preparing the way of the Lord.
As influencers who convene others to discuss real issues. In so doing we oftentimes give voice to the voiceless.
Here’s a phenomenon which always inspires me: As we invite people to the table don’t have prescribed roles in place for them. Look and listen for who God is raising up. Who has the burden? Who’s ready to do the work?
Gospel movements must affirm, equip, empower and transform.
We have to be careful to not make our salvation a fad or another club. Our salvation is a perpetual movement in itself and it should always produce fruit which transforms. We’re called to transform people, systems and culture. Our salvation makes us influential leaders.