To deeply understand God's heart for the cities of our modern world, we can look to the pages of the Old and New Testament to see this theme to see the theological basis of reaching your city. Watch the videos alone, with people in your community or small group or with members of your church.
Each video features Stephen Gaukroger, a British theologian, philosopher and business consultant. He is the founder and director of Clarion International, a charity that aims to equip the church for leadership, mission and evangelism. Gaukroger was the senior pastor of Goldhill Baptist Church in Buckinghamshire, England. A past president of the Baptist Union of England and Wales, he now serves on boards and councils for a variety of Christian organisations. He has written more than 20 books and numerous articles. A friend of Agape Europe, his insights are helping Agape staff members and volunteers shape their vision of Jesus, what His church might be and a vision of the future, the heavenly city.
Video 2 featuring Stephen Gaukroger
Video 3 featuring Stephen Gaukroger
Video 4 featuring Stephen Gaukroger
Video 5 featuring Stephen Gaukroger
Video 6 with Stephen Gaukroger
Inspired by your understanding of the theology of cities, remember to pray for your city.
These 6 different perceptions, based on Timothy Keller’s book, Center Church will help you examine your perceptions and learn from others. The aim of this exercise is not to find the "right" attitude but, by listening to each other, help understand some approaches we take. Our underlying attitudes shape how we approach our city.
“Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120.000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” Jonah 4:11
God cares for our cities because they are full of people who are "lost."
Maybe you don’t even like cities. Is your perception of your city as a place full of lost people who need to be reached because God cares about them?
“In the city belonging to our God, the Lord is great and so worthy of praise! His holy mountain is a beautiful summit, the joy of the whole world.” Psalm 48:2
A city can cultivate an environment for its people to make advancements. Local innovations can improve the lives of millions in a city and even around the world, all under God's grace.
Do you perceive the city as a place where people can achieve great things under God’s grace?
“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.” Genesis 11:4
A city can be filled with so much beauty that it worships itself and becomes mesmerised by its own achievements.
Do you see the city as a place of that glorifies and rescues itself?
“As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The message about the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every place.” 1 Thessalonians 1: 6
The Apostle Paul views the cities of his time as strategic centres of influence for the rapid growth of the gospel.
Do you see cities as influential places that are key to spreading the gospel?
“Promote the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because your future depends on its welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7
Followers of Jesus belong to another city. While on earth, they are like exiles. They live as full participants in civic life, but their primary allegiance is to another Kingdom.
Do you have the temptation to disengage from your city? Do you see the value in promoting the welfare of your city?
“They will be places of refuge from the avenger, so that a person accused of murder may not die before he stands trial before the assembly.” Numbers 35: 12
Millions of people move to cities to pursue a better life. For some, these dreams come to fruition. Others experience loneliness, poverty and marginalisation in cities.
Do you view cities as places of refuge and justice for foreigners and people who are vulnerable?