Nehemiah 11:2 – And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem.
As we read Nehemiah 11, there are at least six reasons why God moves and calls His people to different nations, particularly cities, to do ministry, and we’ll look at the first one today.
One, cities are strategic to God’s plan for the world. While there must be faithful churches wherever there are people, cities and their surrounding areas are of strategic importance.
Sociologists such as James Davison Hunter, have shown that culture flows downstream from urban areas where government, education, healthcare, information, entertainment, trade, travel, and industry are concentrated. An urban area is marked by density and diversity. According to some estimates, over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and over two-thirds of Americans live in a city of some size.
The Bible opens with a garden and the cultural mandate to build culture, which would result in cities. The Bible ends with the unveiling of the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem, an urban paradise for God’s people (Revelation 21–22). While we need churches and ministries in rural areas, cities are strategic centers from which to send out ministry and gather in people.
What do you think would happen to cities and the cultures they create if the Christian Church were not present and active in those places?