Posted By: Tim Mannin
ENTRY FOURTEEN in our writing series, EIGHTEEN, which is all about some of in's and out's of this church.
“We are a church for the city.”
This is a pretty trendy statement these days. I feel like more and more churches are saying this sort of statement. Having a deeper connection and love for the city one is a part of is a growing trend not only within churches, but with people as well.
Here in Oklahoma City (and also in other cities) there is a movement for local and state pride. Local art, local food, local business, and local everything has caught fire for the last few years. This has been a fun movement to see happening in our city. It’s resulting in better local business, deeper renewal, urban gentrification, and deeper roots for many people who call this city home.
OKC Community Church is a new kid on the block (not to be confused with the “Hangin’ Tough,” New Kids on The Block). Many of us who make up OKC Community aren’t new to OKC, but our church is new. If you’ve ever been the new kid at school or the new person at work you know what that feeling is like. It’s sort of this exciting, awkward, hopeful, nervous, and uncertain state of being.
How do we fit in?
Better yet…how do we contribute to our city?
It’s easy to get caught up in the trendy 'love for our city' movement. As people of OKC Community we should support our city, love our neighborhoods, contribute to the renewal of places like Uptown23rd (NW 23rd Street), and cheer for our Thunder. Loving our city is easy. It’s fun and we are proud to be a part of the Oklahoma City landscape. We pray God allows OKC Community Church to exist for many, many decades to come. This is a great place to be!
Loving our city and enjoying all the wonderful things about it does not mean, “we are a church for the city.” It simply means that we love our city. We must embody more than loving and enjoying our city.
We are learning that to be a church for our city we must contribute to the life of the city. That’s why our dream is to bring life to our city! That happens in many ways, but it mostly won’t happen through what we do on Sundays. Although, Sundays are important to the life of our church, the best way to bring life to a city is through the life giving ways we ought to live during the rest of our days and weeks. This means that the way we live and bring life to our neighborhoods, at our workplaces, when we’re shopping, at our coffee houses, and at our sporting events actually matters quite a bit.
We do want to be a church for our city.
But to really do this, it will be less about what our church does as an organization and more about what our church does as people. As an organization we will support our city, contribute where we can, and champion good causes that are happening in our city.
As a people it is our job to bring life to our city.
…by giving life, sharing life, helping people in life, and showing people how to live life to the fullest measure. This dream comes from, John 10:10, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
This city is brimming with the potential for you and I to make a difference...to contribute...to serve...to love.
I love the words from the prophet Micah -- they provide a fitting close to this idea of being a church for the city.
“And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Listen! The Lord is calling to the city…” (Micah 6:8-9).