There is no doubt that we live in a beautiful city. All you need to do is take a ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly on a sunny afternoon to remind yourself of this fact. Lots of other people agree that Sydney is a beautiful place too. There are now over 5 million people who live in Greater Sydney, and every year, many more people are choosing to make our city their home too.
While Sydney is a beautiful place, there are significant needs here as well. Below the surface, people are hungering for something more. We see this hunger in people’s drive to own a more luxurious car or a bigger house. We see it in their desire to get ahead in their careers. Sometimes this hunger and discontentment flares up in domestic arguments and violence that occur behind closed doors. We also see significant needs as we walk through some of the parks in the centre of Sydney and see people shivering in cardboard boxes as they try to fall asleep.
God knows how beautiful Sydney is. He also knows about the pain that does occur in this city as well. In the midst of this sweet and sometimes sour urban experience, God has a vision for Sydney. From God’s perspective, Sydney is an incredibly great city, just like Nineveh was. God has compassion for all of the 5 million people who live here. In short, God loves Sydney. God loves Sydney so much that He has a vision for it. But, how can we know what God’s vision for is?
We need to stop and spend time together praying and listening to the Holy Spirit. From this time of prayer and reflection, we need to develop simple and effective strategies to fulfill God’s vision for Sydney. That’s why the Greater Sydney Conference is inviting you to send your best spiritual, missional, creative and strategic thinkers to the Mission2Sydney Think Tank 23-24 February 2018. During this time we will be exploring the basis for God’s vision and strategic plan for this city.
Feelings: We will seek to understand God’s heart for
Sydney—His compassion, His love, as well as His pain.
We will also be honest about our own feelings about Sydney and the Greater Sydney Conference. Do we have God’s heart for this city? Are we frustrated with the current state of our churches and Conference?
Facts: We will spend time addressing the spiritual reality in our beautiful city. We will face the reality that a number of our established churches are struggling to simply maintain their weekly Sabbath worship services. We will face the reality that a growing number of people do not see themselves as affiliated with any religious community, particularly in inner-city suburbs like Glebe, Newtown and Redfern. We will face the reality that there is a very low density of Seventh- day Adventists along the Eastern Seaboard and there are entire suburbs in Sydney where there are no Seventh-day Adventist churches.
Faith: We will grow in our faith in what God can and will do here in Sydney. We will consider the history of how the
Seventh-day Adventist church was committed to urban mission and what effective urban mission can look like in the 21st
century. We will spend time in prayer and the Bible, reflecting on how people’s lives will be transformed when we lift Jesus
up and pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Join us as we listen to God’s heart, vision and strategy for
Sydney at the Mission2Sydney Think Tank.
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