“Love (Your City)”
by Jacob Bloemberg
Summary of Chapter 9
Chapter 9: Love [Your City] Tool
- Do Not Despise Small Beginnings
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says Love [Your City] Too! 155 the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). Humble beginnings allow us to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
- Hindsight is 20/20: Lessons Learned
2.1 To start, only a few are needed – Don’t wait to start until you have ‘everybody’ you want or need!” Butler wrote.
2.2 Relationships of trust are key – “All durable, effective partnerships are built on trust and whole relationships.”
2.3 The vision must be greater – “Partnerships are durable, effective, and usually strategic when they are driven by a great vision.”184 To echo Missio Nexus once more, “The Great Commission is too big for anyone to accomplish alone and too important not to try to do together.”185 The vision must be a “God idea” and “God-sized” in “God’s timing” to inspire participation and collaboration.
2.4 Prayer is essential – “Our partnerships must be informed and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit in order to be effective.”
2.5 Do not call the meeting too soon – Westerners are often too focused on results, whereas Easterners and Southerners are focused on relationships. Relationships, trust, and creating buy-in takes time, so do not rush to call a meeting too soon, or chances are high that the majority will shut down your ideas before you even started!
2.6 Think skycrapper, not hotdog stand – Launching and leading a citywide movement is more comparable to building a skyscraper (except the cost) than to setting up a hotdog stand. As the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Citywide movements take a long time, a lot of resources, and a certain level of expertise to build. You cannot go at it alone; you must go together at a slower pace with the big picture in mind.
2.7 Set limited, achievable goals – If the big vision is all you have, it will be quickly discouraging when only limited outcomes are achieved in the short run. Instead, consider the stages of transformation for setting limited, achievable goals to avoid disappointment.
2.8 Develop a roadmap – The citywide movement leader needs to create a simple but clear list or diagram (or both) of action steps with names and deadlines so everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect. This is why a diverse team is needed so everyone can play to their strengths.
2.9 Remember your four constituencies
– the recipients of the ministry,
– the partner organizations and leaders,
– the supporters who pray and give, and
– the people in the partnership or network.
2.10 Expect conflict – “When people work together, count on it—there are going to be differences in style, theology, lifestyle, understanding, experience, ministry approach, personality, heritage and background, maturity, and motivation,” says Butler. “Be ready. Be positive. Be proactive in dealing with it. Don’t procrastinate.”
2.11 There is no “right” way – “There is no ‘right way’ for a city initiative to begin or to be organized.” Many, if not most, of the principles will still apply, but your city has a different story, culture, climate, ethnicity, economy, and spirituality than any other city. There is not one way about it, you must find your own way.
2.12 It takes time – “Transformation is a process, not an event.” There is no shortcut. Seven years is a good time frame to get started.
- The role of international and affluent churches
By reaching out to the expatriate and immigrant community, the church is ministering to the diaspora in our city. Mobilizing and equipping these expatriate members to be missional is ministering through the diaspora to fellow expatriates. When expatriate members become acquainted with culture and language, they can minister beyond the diaspora and build bridges with the local churches and their host city. As mentioned before, the unity amidst the diversity in an international church is a true testimony and encouragement to local churches.
- Go ahead. Dip your toes in.
Step 1 – Principles
Step 2 –Posture
Step 3 – Process
Step 4 – Partner
Step 5 – People
*Next Chapter: TBA