THE CHURCH AND THE CITY


01/04/2020 (Episode 2 of 25 weekly episodes)

I love my city.

I have lived in Cape Town for almost sixty years. About 1 million people live in the immediate vicinity of the central business district, but more than 4 million live in the greater metropolitan area. The city has been named the best place in the world to visit by both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph. Visitors fall in love with the rolling wine lands and our majestic Table Mountain surrounded by the most beautiful beaches. Having had the privilege to visit many global cities I understand why visitors appreciate the scenic beauty. On the other hand Cape Town is also known as the “most violent city” in South Africa and has recently been ranked as the 11th most violent city in the world.

Cape Town has also been accused of not being a “truly African city”. I am not sure where that comes from but I suspect it has to do with the personal, negative experiences of individual residents and visitors to our city. - and that would be regrettable. But perhaps we should not forget that a former editor of The Cape Times, a daily Cape Town newspaper always reminded us, that we have “one city, but many cultures”. In this sense, in our city’s defense I would offer the view that we are a truly international, cosmopolitan city in Africa. And hopefully, together with other cities in Africa, we will find common ground to bring hope to our common future as Africans.

There are also many positive prophecies about the city of Cape Town. For the longest time now, there has been the prophecy that a “fire of revival” will start at the southern tip of Africa and spread across South Africa and to the rest of the continent of Africa. In addition to this perennial prophecy many other prophecies have been recorded that God is up to something in the city of Cape Town that will impact the entire continent of Africa. As if in response to the prophecies, over the last few years, many local and international “gospel movements” have become active the city. In this regard many “city impacting events” have taken place and continue to take place in the city of Cape Town.

During the month of May 2019 our city was host to two Pan African conferences. In the first week the New York based organisation movement.org hosted leaders from about 25 African cities who reflected on how “Gospel Movements” can be mobilised in all African cities. Towards the end of May Global Teen Challenge Africa hosted a conference where leaders from 28 African countries grappled with the scourge of substance abuse facing the continent. I had the God given privilege to speak at both of these events. These “happy coincidences” should not be underestimated. Think about it - between these events leaders from 50 African countries gathered in our city about how we can make a difference!

Because all the prophecies speak of a continental revival my preoccupation is not only with my native city but with all the cities of Africa. And being aware of the fact that God works through leaders many questions keep going through my mind. I am curious about who God is going to use to bring this incredible revival to completion? Are some of God’s human instruments already in position? And who else is God still hiding like he was hiding Moses? What will be the size of God’s army? Will it it be a small group like that of Gideon? Or am I perhaps hearing the sound of millions marching onward and upward across the continent? Whatever God is up to I really hope He has reserved a small, humble role for me. I would love to be part of this. (To be continued…)

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