A family of multiplying churches following Jesus in global cities.
New Life Community Church turned 25 years old in 2011: a quarter century of people finding life in Jesus and loving & serving their city. When we began in 1986 we were one small congregation with one language meeting in one neighborhood—Back of the Yards. Twenty-five years later we are still one church, meeting in over 20 diverse Chicago communities, with over 40 worship celebrations, and two languages—all over the city for the good of the city. God had shown great favor over our first 25 years making us urban-resilient in a challenging, ever-changing, global city.
To mark this anniversary we started the year with 25 days of prayer and fasting. As we prayed and fasted God gave us an unmistakeable burden to go to other global cities equipped with the Gospel of Jesus and the kingdom culture of love and mission that had made us thrive in the city of Chicago. Specifically, we began praying for open doors to plant multiplying churches in 10 global cities by the end of 2020.
The burden God gave us was not to start another mission agency or begin a new church planting network, but instead to be a family of multiplying churches following Jesus in global cities around the world.
A family because as we serve different cities we hold on to a common family identity, community and unity.
Multiplying churches because our DNA is to love the whole city by planting congregations that plant other congregations.
Global cities because our native environment is the global city and the world is moving to the city.
And all of this in response to the dynamic leading of the risen Jesus who loves us, saves us, changes us, makes us into a new family & leads us out on mission with Him.
As we go we echo the mantra of the Moravian missionaries as they left their homes to serve as missionaries around the world: “that the Lamb who was slain may receive the reward of His suffering.”
In 2011, citymayors.com tells us that there were 411 cities in the world with a population of at least one million people (we call them ‘global cities’ for short). And this number is growing all the time. To help filter and narrow God’s leading we use this simple funnel image.
One Church Many Locations
At the top are the 400+ Global Cities with a population of one million people or more that we could engage. To narrow our focus, we listen for leaders who carry a unique burden for Heart Cities where we will focus prayer. As we pray for Heart Cities, we selectively follow up invitations, spending time and meeting other church leaders in Explore Cities. If we sense that a city we’ve explored presents an open door then we increase time, attention, prayer and resources on these Focus Cities. Once we discover or send a city planter to a Focus City and have a date for the public beginning of a New Life congregation that city becomes a Plant City. When we’ve seen God grant us favor to multiply into one church meeting in 3 different communities, we call that a Movement City.