This isn’t about features or technical stuff, and it’s not about marketing buzzwords. This is about real life impact.
People get connected.
Let’s just use the example of a person who came to your church for the first time this week. They don’t want to fall through a crack, and you don’t want them to, either. So they talk to a few people and sign up for The City after your gathering.
When they get home, they check it out. Since they’re new, they only see the church-wide stuff -- weekly updates, church-wide events, maybe a lively discussion of the week’s sermon. They may not jump into the discussion right away, but they’ll get a personal glimpse of your church living as a community. If you’ve set up a connect group, a trained volunteer can help them feel welcome and get involved. They’ll also have a chance to see the faces of the people they met at church, and maybe say hi.
Better yet, you know those people in your church who are really great at making new people feel welcome? Well, The City makes it easy for you to empower them to exercise those gifts. So, new people come in, people make them feel welcome, they become a part of your church, and your community grows stronger. Everybody wins.
Everyone interacts more.
Life is busy and it’s hard to really stay in touch with everyone you want to, even if they’re a part of your church. Sure, you stay late sometimes after gatherings to talk, but the kids get hungry and you get pulled away. But when you go home, that conversation you had to cut short is still going in The City, and the few minutes you spend interacting leaves you very encouraged.
On the bus to work the next day, you see a friend’s urgent prayer request come in from The City, so you pray, then reply from your smartphone to let them know you’re praying. Later, you follow up and find out that your friend could really use some help covering meals this week, so you use The City to invite your community group to help out, and a bunch of people sign up to drop-off meals. Then, at lunch a co-worker starts asking some deep questions about who God is, but you need a little help finding the exact Scripture references to answer his question. Thankfully, one of your pastors holds regular discussions in The City on these kinds of topics, so you do a quick search, find the help you need, then share with your co-worker. You also happened to notice a promo on The City for an upcoming theology class for people interested in learning more about Jesus, so you invite your co-worker to go with you.
When you stop seeing life and church in fragments, and start looking at the whole picture, you realize it’s far more beautiful than you imagined, and all those seemingly disconnected pieces are being brought together by God in an amazing way.
Ministry gets moving.
Mobilize isn’t a bad word, but it is kind of mechanical. What we’re really talking about is movement. Armies and machines mobilize, but God moves. And God moves us. There’s something powerful here.
So, what does this really look like, and what role does The City play in it?
It looks like people being connected to each other in meaningful ways. It looks like people having opportunities to interact despite the fact that everyday life is demanding. It looks like people praying for each other and sharing what they have to meet each other’s needs. It looks like a bunch of people living together in such a way that they all move in the same direction, loving each other, serving each other, encouraging each other, and inviting others to join them as they follow Jesus together.
The thing is, The City doesn’t make any of this happen. Only God can do that. But The City helps you create a space where these things can happen more naturally in the context we’re all living in. The City helps your church gather up the disconnected pieces of modern life and knit them together into one complete whole. When that happens, everyone in your church starts to belong, to give and receive, to move together in one direction, and it’s powerful.