"Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare."
In recent posts I have discussed how that as followers of Jesus we are all called into the missionary life as "full-time," ministers of the gospel. This is a call that is given to all of us whether we are receiving are salary from a church or mission organization; or whether we receive our salary from Starbucks.
Once one realizes this and fully embraces the missional lifestyle, it should be fairly easy to recognize where God has currently called you and to what people group. In most cases, but not always, God has providentially called you to the people and place you are already living and working. That is why he has placed you there.
You do not live in your city only to build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their produce, to take a spouse and have children; but to seek the welfare of the city, by praying to the Lord on their behalf. Yes, just as the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:4-7 worked to meet personal and family needs, you too will do the same, but at the same time you are to seek the good of the city.
You do this by becoming a positive influence on the city, by recognizing that you are there to carry the burdens of the world and to spread redemption wherever you go. It is often easy to find ourselves in a Christian-subculture where we are only with other Christians all of the time. This is one reason in seminary I chose intentionally to live thirty minutes from the campus as a way to avoid this subculture and to seek the welfare of my city.
I must warn you that embracing this type of lifestyle will not be easy as it will require you to often enter relationships that you are not comfortable in. But this is the lifestyle that Jesus lived and that he has called us to. So are you seeking the welfare of the city? If not I want to encourage you to stop, repent, and start seeking the welfare of the city today.
For more information on how to be proclaim and live out the gospel in your city check out For The City by Darrin Patrick & Matt Carter.