Sitting in downtown Raleigh at independent coffee shop, Morning Times, I cannot help but look around and observe the people, the setting, the culture. People watching is something I do often for a couple reasons. First, it is one of the only free things that I truly enjoy. Second, it gives some insight to individuals, where they are in life, their dreams, passions, and to what moves them.
Today specifically I am reflecting on "why I love the city", which I am referring to particularly downtown. Downtown is where there are people, where trends are set, and culture is made. In downtown Raleigh I see creativity through art, independent coffee shops, music, fashion, etc. All of these things combined help make up culture, which reflects RDU at large, but Raleigh in particular is a culture setting hub for the Southeast. As a random side note, here is what I am currently observing: apple computers, skinny jeans, boots, artist, writers, thick rimmed glasses, a guy looking at me writing as I look at him and write, books, buses, etc.
I love all of these aspects about the city, but also wonder what would happen if our churches put more emphasis on the city. I am not suggesting that all of our buildings we call churches move in to downtown ignoring the rest of the population, but what if most of our church planting efforts were where the people are, where creativity happens, and where culture is made. Considering Raleigh culture influences the entire Southeast, it would be detrimental for us to ignore the city when what happens here will inevitably spread throughout the Southeast and perhaps beyond.
I suggest we turn to the life of David in 2 Samuel 5:6-10 as our example. David, along with his army, reclaimed the city of Jerusalem as God's city, which became the strategic center of mission for the people of God. We as the church should be building a city within the city that is the church where we are the culture shapers of society by which we reclaim the cities as God's cities.