Life in cities can be very complex and simple at the same time. The convenience of having all that you need readily available for you within a walking distance, if you can afford it, makes life in the city simple. However, the noise, the hustle and bustle of living in a congested city makes it complex and sometimes confusing. Moreover, one can be in the midst of hundreds of thousands of people and be isolated and lonely at the same time. I personally felt the isolation and loneliness when I was a new immigrant in New York City in the early 1980s.
Evangelism is also very difficult in this cities of high-rise apartment complexes, where literally hundreds if not thousands of people live in a single building. We talk about closed countries where missionaries are not allowed, these high-rise apartment complexes are also gated communities that are closed to walk-in evangelism visits. The question is then, how do we reach these millions of people?
Our missionaries in DFW are finding a new way of entering into these gated communities to bring the Gospel in a relational way:
- Jaime Gonzolez in Rockwall lives in a trailer park and began reaching out to his neighbors. He brought in a congregation of more than 100 people that began worship at Our Savior Rockwall last month.
- Prince of Peace in Carrollton has been reaching out to their neighbors in the apartment complexes in Carrollton for several years.
- Pastor Will Kemp and his wife Heather are planting a congregation in The Colony and have brought their relational evangelism into the apartment community where they live.
- Brian and Christi Vaupel have moved into an apartment to lead a care group to serve their community.
- Rev. Solomon and Senait Yadessa just started ministry to people in their apartment complex.
All of them are doing what Christians have done for centuries but in a new context, an urban multicultural context. This is called incarnational ministry.
We all know the first few verses of the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory…” The apartment ministry is an incarnational ministry at its best in the way of Jesus himself. These faithful servants are planting God in these communities where thousands of people live and multiple nationalities are represented. They literally have the potential and opportunity of reaching the world by evangelizing an apartment.
The vision is to make this a metroplex vision to have as many “persons of peace” as is possible in as many apartments that the Lord opens for us to reach the nations. The planning process has begun. The mission is to evangelize our cities by serving our communities, engaging our congregations and planting churches. Moreover, an advisory board to support and resource this evangelistic movement is in the formation. This is truly a Macedonian call and we covet your prayers and support for the Lord to guide our planning and strengthen our resolve.
By: Rev. Yohannes Mengsteab
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area B