Chapter 10 of "The Holiness Manifesto" is called "Holiness in the City", written by George McKinney. McKinney is a Bishop, and pastor in the Church of God in Christ in California.
His topic is one that will tug at the heart/spirit of anyone involved in ministry to an urban area, for sure. He reminds the Church that in our discussions of pursuing holiness, we must also be talking about our response to: Fatherlessness, declining parental skills, marital health, other manifestations of our young frustrated by unfulfilled needs, education of our children, injustices, oppressive forces/systems/people/habits, ministering primarily to those impoverished in one way or another..etc.
To quote McKinney, "(Jesus) also ministered on behalf of what held them captive - socially, politically, economically, ethnically, linguistically, and in other physical ways as well as spiritually and, perhaps, demonically."
He discusses many of the roles the people of God can play in bringing the (holy) presence of this Jesus Christ into our urban areas that need it badly, and the work Jesus continues to offer to do through us. As someone who has been called into ministry here in an urban context, many of his words offer encouragement to things we find ourselves doing, and a call to further action...and prayer.
Decatur, Illinois certainly has the need for the people of God to follow his example set for us in Christ. To reveal God, His identity, love, Spirit, etc...for all.....not simply the ones who have "caught on". Out of our comfort zones, and in ways that make us vulnerable, to carry his message of freedom, love, grace, and mercy into our city...not simply invite them into our building in order to hear it.
A challenging message, and one I admit to doing better here in my place of work...than in actively going out to be involved in. May God give me opportunity and resource to go beyond...
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