Lesson 1 - Broken Cities

Age of Disintegration

Disintegrated Cities

Think about how your particular city is disintegrated. 

What feels broken? What doesn't work the way that it should? What could be better?

How are Cities Disintegrated?

Christians in the City

Because the Bible's first reference to a city is a city built by Cain the fugitive (Gen. 4:17), we tend to think that cities are an unfortunate product of the fall. This assumption is the result of a misreading of the Bible's story line. The Bible teaches that the city is God's idea, invention, and intention.

The Bible invites us to engage, to settle down in, and to contribute to our cities. Instead of retreating from our cities, we're encouraged to understand and engage with what is happening in the city. Instead of touring our cities, we're invited to put roots down in our cities. Instead of merely taking from our cities, we're invited to contribute to the life and development of our city – be it through art, business, law, literature, music, medicine, education, finance, etc. The Bible's invitation is for us to seek the common good of our city. It's a countercultural call. It's a call to see the city as our home, and to take good care of it.

Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard, "Why Cities Matter"

Caring Well for Cities

Bound Up

Greg taught us a few ways to help re-integrate our cities. We can reach out to our neighbors. We can confess that we are broken people. These seem easy enough. 

But Greg says that we have more work to do: our job or vocation is "bound up” with the healing of the city.

Many of us have been taught that our work doesn't really matter to God. Maybe we talk about Jesus at work or we donate part of our paycheck to charity or maybe we are kind to a co-worker who is going through hard times. But that's the only impact our jobs have in the world. Certainly, those are all good things, but they don't reflect the diversity of God's work in the world. The breadth of God's redemption is bigger. Our work plays a key role in providing restoration to all places and all people. Your job brings grace and love into the places where you live, work, and play. Simply, your job helps heal the city.

If your work is deeply intertwined with the healing of the city—if it is "bound up" with the city's healing—then how does this change the way you view your job?

Want to learn more? Explore the extra content for this course.