Anyway, the latest print edition of Cutting Edge, the church planting magazine from the Vineyard churches, has a great article by Keller about developing city-center churches. (The issue is not online yet, but the print edition showed up in my mailbox yesterday.)
Good stuff! And it’s got me thinking about things like…
- How do these concepts relate to my place?
- Is it time to look at places like Woodstock, Georgia as still being the ‘edge’ of Atlanta?
- Or are smaller, growing cities like Woodstock ‘cities on their own’?
And these money quotes (among many!) from the article…
You can’t just disciple people on how to be Christians in their private lives, (e.g., prayer, witnessing, Bible study). Center-city people don’t have much in the way of a “private life.” If you are in finance, or art, or acting or medicine, your vocation dominates your life and your time. Discipleship must include how to be distinctively Christian within your job, including how to handle the peculiar temptations and ethical quandaries, and how to produce work in one’s own field from a distinctly Christian world-view.
If you speak and discourse as if your whole neighborhood is present eventually more and more of your neighborhood will find their way in or be invited. Why? Most Christians, even when they are very edified in church, know intuitively that their non-Christian friends would not appreciate the service. What you want is for a Christian to come to your church and say, “Oh! I wish my non-Christian friend could see (or hear) this!” If this is forgotten, soon even a growing church will be filled with Christians who commute in from various towns and communities far and wide rather than filling up with Christians and seekers from your church’s immediate neighborhood. (p. 23)