Does God care for cities? Does God love Fort Collins?
Theologically, I think the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’
The story of God in the Bible starts in a garden and ends in a city! And along the way, the Bible has a lot to say about God’s heart for cities. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We’re called to pray for our government leaders (even if we disagree with them) and to serve those in authority over us. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors.
The problem isn’t that God has been silent about this topic, it’s that we’ve often missed the mark when it comes to the purpose and plan God has for cities.
Far too often we look at our city through a lens of entitlement. ‘What can the city do for me’ or ‘how can the city serve my needs?’
It’s easy to think that cities exist for our own benefit. But what if we had it all wrong? What if cities didn’t exist for our well-being—but we existed for our cities?
Jeremiah 29:7 calls us to ‘work for the peace and prosperity of the city we are sent to.’ It continues by calling us to, ‘Pray to the Lord for the city’s welfare’ because our personal welfare is determined by the welfare of our city.
JFK once famously said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” That's not too far off from Jeremiah 29:7… What if we graded our effectiveness not only by how well we’re doing, but how well our city is doing?
For our church: What if we didn’t grade our health solely by attendance, giving, and service records, but by the well-being of our city?
Too often churches have only graded their effectiveness by what happens inside their own walls, but scripture calls us to a new pinnacle of success: one that also includes the health of our city.
This is why we’ve created “LoveFoCo.” We want to individually take responsibility for the welfare of our city. As a church, we want to serve, honor, and love our city like it’s part of God’s plan for our community. We want to mobilize a movement of citizens who are givers, not takers.
LoveFoCo exists because we believe that we can transform a city through simple acts of love.
In the future weeks, check back for 20 ways to love Fort Collins in 2020.