Gospel vision and the inner city

At a “mission action plan” meeting on Saturday we talked about three types of people who live in the inner-city:

  1. The aspirational: I want to get out of here, and will leave as soon as I have the money
  2. The settled: my family and friends are here, I’m happy and have no intention of leaving
  3. The trapped: I hate it here but can’t leave because…

When thinking of a vision statement we want to keep all three groups in mind. Our vicar thought the Lord’s prayer might contain the elements of a good vision statement, and so, if we run with this idea, something could emerge along the lines of:

St Luke’s church exists because God wants Blakenhall to be a desirable place to live as its people live out the good news of Jesus Christ.

What effect would this becoming a reality have on the three types of people?

  1. The aspirational would no longer want to leave
  2. The settled would be even happier to stay
  3. The trapped would no longer feel trapped

Give us a clear cross-centred, gospel vision, Father, so that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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4 Responses to Gospel vision and the inner city

  1. Hi Neil,
    Is to “live out the gospel” the same as “live a life worthy of the gospel” (Phil 1:27)?


  2. neilrobbie says:

    Good question. We are still in bluesky mode on this one. I’d like to think the non-biblical phrase “live out the gospel” captures something of the idea of gospel partners, standing firm, contending, being missional. We’re aiming for short=memorable with the vision statement. Have you any ideas which might help us?

  3. I appreciate the desire for a purpose statement. It serves to focus the mind on doing what you are called to do.

    I asked the question because while I like a lot of the missional stuff (I read and listen to Driscoll/Resurgence/Acts29 etc) I think there are some category errors that sometimes creep in. For example, the gospel is to be believed not lived. If you define your relationship to the gospel as “living” it then your relationship to it is in terms of what you do. Then your are in danger of confusing justification and sanctification, and we know where that leads. It’s about getting hold of the old Law/Gospel distinction.

    (Another category error is “living incarnationally”, but that’s another story!)

  4. neilrobbie says:

    A very good point, Stephen. Thank you.


    St Luke’s church exists because God wants Blakenhall to be a desirable place to live as its people have heard, believed and so live out the good news of Jesus Christ.

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