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  • Marina Shank

The Task Is Too Great

The task is too great.


As we look at the setting around us - whether it’s our apartment complex, our neighborhood, our city, or our region of the world - we are keenly aware of the fact that the task is too great. What is the task, you ask? We want to see the good news of the Jesus take root in hearts and communities, thereby transforming our reality to reflect God’s Kingdom.


This kind of holistic transformation means healing in the lives of broken people, reconciliation between estranged people and groups, belonging for the lonely, wholeness in all sectors of society, and so much more. This kind of holistic transformation takes a great amount of time, resources, and skills.


One couple cannot do this alone. One small group is incapable of bringing this about. Not even one megachurch can accomplish this vision. As we think about reaching a city (or even a neighborhood) for Christ, it’s very clear that no one church has all the resources to meet all the needs that enfront it. What church or parachurch organization has within itself a counseling center, a thriving youth ministry, immigration services, grief groups, foster-parent support, endless financial resources, a network of young professionals, Alpha groups, Meals-on-Wheels programs, and open physical space for ministries yet to be dreamed of? Probably very few. The need for Christ in [insert your city’s name] is great. As Neil Powell, Birmingham pastor and author of “Together for the City” shares, “If we want to reach out to communities for Christ we will need to work together in meaningful forms of Gospel partnership.”


Yes, of course, it is only God who can do this through us weak humans. And as we see Him do the work, we are becoming more and more convinced that one of His favorite means for bringing Kingdom transformation is through human collaboration. Our triune God, who in himself is the perfect picture of partnership, loves to see his children work together as they do his business. We believe that he is glorified when believers of different backgrounds (ethinic, socioeconomic, denominational, etc.) come together in urgency and hope for their cities.


As we prepare for ministry in Bolivia, we are digging into a concept called “Gospel Ecosystems,” or a network of interdependent organizations, individuals, ideas, and spiritual and human forces that work together for Gospel transformation and human flourishing in a city/area. We invite you to learn with us! Below is a 17-minute video where Neil Powell explains the concept of these Gospel Ecosystems. We are excited to see how God will use collaborative movements for the good of the city of Santa Cruz and beyond.


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