Engaging the City in Love
Engaging the City in Love Jonah 4:11
Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield II, Pastor
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church
Kansas City, MO
“Engaging the City in Love”
Worship Sermon Summary
January 1, 2017 10:00 AM
In 2017 we have to become very intentional in our quest to be a church for the city. This requires that
- Engage with the city;
- Connect with the city; and
- Evolve with the city.
We see an example of this with the new church in Acts 28. It became a movement throughout the region.
We must be a church that is known in the city and a church that has a "crush" on the city. Engaging the city is about the church getting the city's attention and we are interested in a relationship. For this to happen we must have a genuine concern for the city. That's what the book of Jonah is all about and ends with this rhetorical question. God cares.
God is concerned about city life. Cain's descendants were urban dwellers who were marked by their black skin. The mark of Cain was not a curse, but a protection. God wants to protect and care for the city. The city gets a bad rap... crime, drugs, lack of education. When you think about the city in negative terms, you are discouraged from engaging with the city.
Jonah learns the lesson that you can't run from God. He also learns the important lesson that God prepares for protection. Jonah preaches and gets the King's attention. As a result, the people of Nineveh repent and God shows mercy. Jonah is distressed by God's mercy to these people. He would rather die than see them forgiven. In chapter 1, God provided a fish. Near the end of the book, God provides a worm, a wind, and a weed.
If God has a heart for the city, then the people of God are to engage the city in caring and love. Let's face it... we are part of the city. The people of God must be interested in the city. We can't be like Jonah. We can't go in the opposite direction of the city. We can't run from God. We must turn toward the city. God found us in the city.
We must be willing to share with the city. Share a good message of hope in Christ. A message of salvation. God will provide. But not only do we share a good message, but we are required to share ourselves. Engaging the city is not about throwing a program together. We have to share ourselves. You can't have relationship with God from a distance. It must be a close and intimate encounter. A personal relationship with God is predicated on a corporate relationship with our brothers and sisters.
We must care and we must share. Otherwise, we will be limited to a Jonah ministry. I need Thee O I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee.