by Sungyak Kim
What Steve instills in us at the opening of the conference is a vision for the glory of God at the center of all that we do as a church. It is a paradigm shift, a slow but steady turning of our eyes away from ourselves and towards God’s glory and his kingdom.
Church planters, pastors and lay leaders come from all around the country and overseas. But despite our many different backgrounds and contexts, there really is only one ultimate vision we are called to – to glorify and enjoy God by making His invisible kingdom visible on earth.
This should give us a new passion for God’s glory and his kingdom, seeking it first, above and beyond our preconceived ideas about what we want “my” church to look like. Our cities don’t exist for the sake of our churches, but our churches exist for the sake of our cities.
This vision for the glory of God manifested in our cities should stir up our affections to see God’s kingdom come and will be done in our cities through the church of Christ, renews our cities by the power of his gospel in word and deed. We are not merely church planters and pastors, but city planters and pastors, i.e. the city of God.
The GCA Conference is not just about the best means to plant, grow, and multiply churches in our local communities, but most importantly it is about starting a renewal movement in our cities, our nation, and among all nations.
This means we need to unite as one body. Just as privatism in personal growth is unhealthy, so is the isolationism and segregation we see in the universal church today. We need to reclaim ecumenicalism from the liberal church and unite under our Lord’s vision for us all.
God loves to pour out his Spirit on those who will dare to radically align their purposes with his. Join with us at this conference, asking God to give us a renewed and greater vision for his glory, his kingdom, his church, and his gospel. And lets dare to heed Richard Lovelace’s call to pray “for an awakening for which all earlier renewal movements have been only rehearsals.”