The gospel cannot be an bigger than it is anymore than God can be “bigger” than He is (being infinite, He’s not bound by space or time so any spatial descriptions fall short). However, He can be magnified better by His people…without a doubt! As well, the gospel can be magnified on a grander scale and should be. We must be careful to still trust the foolishness of preaching / speaking the simple Word, which changes lives.
In a recent REPORT the United Nations reports on the merging of mega-cities into mega-regions, thus centralizing populations around the world. The report can give you the details. Here are a few initial observations / implications:
- We should embrace being in a population / cultural center. UBC is uniquely positioned with various ages, cultures and nationalities within just a mile of our campus. The world is touched from here! The gospel message must be proclaimed boldly, not only from our pulpit but from your desks, cubicles, dorm rooms, and lunch tables.
- We must get a heart for the nations with the ambition to see church planting movements begin and sustained. The church will prevail, but only as the gospel is central to that fellowship. We should seek to have such a clear biblical ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) that we are simple and reproducible. We should be relevant so that our language is understood, but the content and presentation of the content must be consistent with the simple gospel message.
- We need to get over ourselves. While at UBC we are committed to biblical fidelity in every walk of life, we also must acknowledge that it is still too “clothed” with our cultural underpinnings. Some of these are not bad – there is some connection we have with the ancient church from centuries past. However, we still need to work harder at removing cultural barriers from our gathering so that the message is clearly heard and understood (as best as we can do that).
- We need to focus our mission efforts in population centers as the goal or the base of operations. Whether in stateside church planting or overseas involvement we need to go to where the people are and most radically unreached. Being unreached doesn’t at all necessarily mean remote. There are entire people groups without a witness.
- Finally, we need to examine ourselves. Some of us want to recluse and get away from people, the crowd. Certainly I’m proposing that we leave the witness of small towns and communities. I’m just saying that the world is dying without the gospel message, and they are dying without it in droves…entire populations in large city centers. We are just so American-centric (even in our Christianity) that we forget that we will be among the smaller nations represented in the kingdom of God. This probably is tied to an overly realized western / political / religious convergence…but that is a whole different blog altogether
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.