I read an interesting article today in the Michigan Daily, which is the student newspaper for the University of Michigan. There is talk about setting up a program through the university where students can go to Detroit to take classes.
The aim is to start getting some of the students to think of ways to bring positive change in a city like Detroit. They will be strategizing with other organizations to reach out to various impoverished areas of the inner city and even the greater downtown Detroit area.
As I was reading the article, I couldn’t help but to think to myself – “isn’t this what the Church should be doing?” If the people of God are called to be the salt and light, then why are we not doing something about this? How can we be like a city on a hill shining brightly if there is only darkness? By removing the light (everyone escaping to the nice plush suburbs), how can any city really shine?
The city of Detroit has always been last in a lot of categories. Our only claim to fame is our murder rate for which we were ranked number one.
This got me thinking about people in our church. Why is it that so many people after graduation want to flock to the “better” cities and places? When they are challenged, they usually give the typical answer – “because there are no job or opportunities here.”
When I hear this, I think maybe we are looking at the situation in the wrong way. Are we always called to go somewhere because of a job or a good opportunity? How about “creating” or “bringing” more jobs and good opportunities to a place?
I understand that not everyone is entrepreneurial, but this is something that we might have to address or even start talking about in the collective whole.
Why is it that the secular world are thinking about and even doing things that the Church of Jesus should be doing if we are serious about transformation? I am convinced that the cities will play a major role in the future of missions. We need to start from our Jerusalem and Judea so that we can go out to our Samaria and to the ends of this earth.
I am praying for people who will have a vision for the future and have the willingness to sacrifice for that vision. Great cities like NYC, Chicago, LA, Singapore, Seoul and etc. were not birthed by people who were always seeking for the easiest way out. What would it be like if Detroit was known for being one of the most happening places in the United States rather than for its murder rate?
It will truly be a transformasphere moment.
“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jer 29:7).