Want to Change Culture? Engage the City

from Greg Hubbard, Director of Operations

Many people are watching the emerging U.S. presidential races with keen interest (or dismay). We are concerned about the state of our culture. We long for a positive future. If only we could elect a leader who would do something about all the things we fear about the world around us!

While we could hope to influence culture via political processes, I’m intrigued by Timothy Keller’s words:


Keller is an advocate for church planting in city centers because of the tremendous cultural influence that flows from such places.

This is nothing new. Centuries before Jesus came God sent Jonah to the large, influential city of Nineveh to proclaim his message in the hub of the Assyrian Empire. Decades after Jesus was here God sent Paul to Athens, the hub of the ancient Greek Empire, and to Rome, the epicenter of the mighty Roman Empire. As a result, the Gospel transformed lives and influenced the course of history from these centers of influence.

If we want to impact culture, our churches must increase in cities.

When Orchard Group started in 1948, only two cities in the world had populations of over ten million (New York and London). Today there are twenty cities of this size, with more emerging.

Imagine a future in which new churches are flourishing in major global cities:

  • thousands of people responding in faith to the good news of Jesus
  • new ministries being started to serve the underprivileged and overlooked
  • daughter churches being started
  • missionaries being trained and commissioned
  • cities being transformed by the power of the gospel

Imagine what could happen if we take notice of how God is at work in the world, and join him in his mission to draw all people to himself.  We might be in the midst of the greatest mission opportunity of our time.

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Jamie Larson