On the weekend, the friend that I was staying with in Toronto told me a little bit about MoveIn – a movement of Christians purposely moving into specific areas of cities for a higher purpose. Read on…
“We have discovered that something amazing happens when a group of Christians intentionally moves into a neighbourhood to pray (Acts 1:14) and be. In doing so, they have chosen to become part of the neighbourhood. Rather than visiting or serving and then going away, they will share in their neighbourhood’s joys (Rom. 12:15), and in its troubles (Rom. 8:17); and they will have an opportunity to be right in there as salt (Matt. 5:13) and light (Matt 5:14) – as the hands and feet of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27; Matt. 25:35-40) – with a cup of cold water in one hand (Mark 9:41) and the good news (Isa. 52:7) in the other.
“We are encouraging all young Christians to ask themselves to move where they move on purpose and to challenge their default motivations. Sadly, it seems to have become the norm for Christians to move into a neighbourhood not because of the need or because of a calling to reach it, but because it is convenient. Furthermore, neighbourhoods that are inconvenient or unsafe are avoided.
“It is time for Christians to move into neighbourhoods because they are not safe – to move into neighbourhoods that are messy and have high crime rates, high poverty rates, low standards of living, and a disproportionate representation of Christ.
““It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” Paul, Romans 15:20 It is also time for those who move into suburbs and other lower-needs neighbourhoods to do so on purpose – prayerfully, seriously, communally.
“As we ‘move in’, we pray also that we would be part of the fulfillment of the prayer for more people to go where the “labourers are few” but the “harvest is plentiful” (Matt. 9:37) on the other side of the world – where people have never heard of Jesus, and where–in some cases–they live in slums and sleep in refuse that is physical, economic, social, emotional, environmental, or spiritual in nature.
“We are moving in because Christ did it first (Eph. 5:1). We are praying for big things because we serve a big God (Psalm 8). We are confident that He will go before us (Isa. 45:2), that he will never leave us (Heb. 13:5-6), and that he will be with us right to the end (Matt 28:20). Through prayer and action, we pray that those we live among will experience Christ’s love themselves in a life-changing, life-giving, totally contagious kind of way (John 10:10) – for God’s glory.”