The Lunar New year is coming, which is a big even in China. People hurried home, the whole family gathers and reunites. As a result, the city churches, especially those in big cities, are left empty, and the churches have to stop gathering and even close since there are few attendees.
The city enjoys an important position of all ages. In the Apostolic Age, Paul’s mission strategy is focused on cities. The word “city” has been mentioned over 160 times in the New Testament, 80 in the book of Luke and the Acts. Why city was and is so important in mission strategy? It’s easy to reach more people there. And usually, a city is a religious, political, economical and cultural center. That’s why church planting is encouraged in the city and more Christians are encouraged to enter into cities.
If you want to make a difference in a region, first you have an influence on a city.
1 A mind that small homes for everyone
Home is warm. Nobody dislikes or dismisses home. But still, we should have a mind that “small homes for everyone.” A police is to public security like the Christian is to evangelism. On some degree you have to give up the easy and comfortable.
As the urbanization in China, more and more floating population shuttle back and forth in cities. There are work pressures and emotional needs, and the floating population has a deep desire to belong to a group. This is a chance for urban churches to care and to help those people.
2 A festival that Christ-centered
We Christians should celebrate a Christ-centered Lunar New Year. Does it do anything good for us to only eating and drinking like the gentiles?
Here is the chance for urban churches: inviting those rural migrant workers to our church, treating them, preaching the good news to them, and so on. The urban church can also gather those who don’t go to hometown to do some charities, such as visiting and caring the aged house, or hospitals, etc.
3 A chance to be deeply-rooted
Churches should shine and influence cities. There are many churches failed to influence but be influenced. Urban churches’ being left empty during Lunar New Year is a repercussion that churches failed to deeply root in cities.
There are some big cities in which the pastors are all come from other provinces. There are no local pastors. How could this kind of church to be built up and deeply rooted? As urban churches, we should take more chances to preach and build up, as well as training native to be preachers and ministers. Thus the church can develop well and make a difference in cities.
The author is a preacher in Xinjiang Province.
Translated By: Alice Wang