Reason 2: Seeking the good of the city where God has put us
One of the core values of New City Neighbors is biblical renewal in our neighborhood. As the NCN website puts it, "the Bible calls us to seek the holistic restoration of our community in the areas of social justice, education, and family so that all may know spiritual, emotional, economic, and physical health."
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:7, which states, "Seek the peace (shalom) of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace you will have peace." In this verse, Jeremiah is writing a letter to Israelites in exile in Babylon. He could have told them to separate themselves, to stay away from the godless pagans who were in the process of wreaking havoc with Israel, or at least to be indifferent toward them. But he doesn't.
Instead, Jeremiah's instruction hearkens back to why God set Abraham and his family apart in the first place: to be a blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:1-3). God didn't just bless his people and stop there. God called his people to be a channel of blessing through which God would bless everyone. God sends his people to Babylon not just as a punishment but so they can get back on track with the mission God has for them. The people around them in their city weren't enemies, nuisances, or problems to be solved; they were a mission field, people who needed to know the good news of the one true God.
Would Jeremiah's instruction be an easy task for the Israelites in Babylon to carry out? Not always. But it was why they were chosen by God in the first place--to be ambassadors of his kingdom in every land, every city, every neighborhood where God had put them. And this is why I run for New City Neighbors: NCN takes up the call of Jer. 29:7, actively seeking the good, the peace, the shalom of the city and neighborhood in which I live. When I support NCN, I'm supporting God's mission in the world.
You can be a part of supporting NCN's ministry as well. If you'd like to make a donation online, simply go to newcityneighbors.com and click on the "donate now" box. If you'd like to send a support check, send it to:
New City Neighbors
1226 Union Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Thanks for your support!