Tag: hill city church
“Just keep your head down and you’ll be alright!”
That was the blunt advice given to me by the local shop-keeper when I introduced myself as a Christian who had just moved onto the estate to start a church. Apparently the way to get by on a council estate that has long been synonymous with poverty and social disorder is to opt for anonymity and obscurity. The trouble is that that’s not the life that Jesus has called us to, and it’s certainly not a biblical strategy for planting a church. Besides, we hadn’t just left the comfortable familiarity of life in Cardiff and moved into a house right at the heart of this challenging new community because we wanted a quiet, uneventful, bland and insignificant existence.
Quite the opposite in fact!
We were there on mission. We were there for an adventure. We were there to see the power of the gospel change lives. We were there to make an impact in the Name of Jesus and for His glory. Ironically, we had already settled on a name for our not-yet-in-existence church – Hill City Church – inspired by the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (v14-16)
I don’t think Jesus was saying “Just keep your head down and you’ll be alright!”
Quite the opposite in fact!!!
Jesus didn’t save us to shy away but to shine out. If this dark estate was going to encounter Jesus, it needed a church that was set intentionally and unmistakably high on the hill committed to letting the irresistible light of Christ shine out for all to see! Like Jesus said, no one lights a lamp and hides it under a basket. We certainly didn’t want to contradict Him!
The truth is, however, that when it comes to reaching the unreached and establishing churches in these broken communities, it’s very easy to grab a basket and smother the gospel light that we’ve been entrusted to shine. In reaching a culture like that of a council estate, there is one basket in particular that Christians find it all too easy to hide beneath - the basket of fear!