Gospel Ecosystem’s to Transform Cities – Tim KellerI had the chance at being at a gathering with other church planters in cities in North America the last couple of days. I really enjoyed meeting church planters from New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Portland, Atlanta, Boston, Memphis, of course LA and other cities as well as sitting on a panel as it relates to kingdom collaboration. The time was rich. It was great meeting Tim Keller and others. I heard about Tim Keller’s thoughts on Gospel Ecosytem’s that he talked about at a gathering in Miami recently. It is something you should take the time to listen to.
What is a gospel ecosystem?
A system of organisms that sustain each other. An ecosystem consisting of churches, organizations, and various leaders with a vision for gospel ministry is for the transformation of the city. It happens when the kingdom is experiencing genuine growth rather just reconfiguring the church by members moving from one church to another. Movement takes place when multiple denominations and networks sustain each other as they hold to a common vision to see God’s kingdom more fully realized in our cities. Developing a gospel ecosystem that goes beyond any one leader or church and is not dependent on a leader or church. The core of this movement begins with a contextualized way of embodying the good news among various churches in the city. Around that core is a whole network of church planting movements which love one another, work with one another for the sake of the kingdom. Here is what it takes.
Here is an outline of his thoughts on what is vital to a gospel movement in the city
1. Kingdom-centered united prayer across the churches in the city
2. Specialty evangelistic ministries, especially campus ministries and youth ministries
3. Justice & Mercy initiatives
4. Faith and work initiatives (especially connecting with artists and cultural influencer’s)
5. Educational and family support institutions
6. Leadership development systems that work toward identifying leaders and bringing those leaders to maturity
7. Overlapping leaders coming together with a heart for the whole city (business leaders, art leaders, tech leaders, pastors)
When this happens, when enough of the ecosystem is in place, you hit a tipping point and get to an amazing expansion of the church. The second tipping point is a city tipping point. Here is the audio of the talk. While this short video doesn’t fully deal with this, it hits on the idea as well.