How You Can Saturate Your City
With the Supremacy of Christ
[EDITOR’S NOTE: ChristNow talks a lot about the need for and impact of a Christ Awakening movement. We exist to serve that movement. That’s because we know such a powerful work of the Spirit has tremendously practical, tangible, measurable ramifications for our churches, our cities, and our nation. David Bryant wants to show you how this spiritual dynamic is unfolding in unprecedented fashion in the most influential city in the world. The resources for city saturation that David shares are available to Christians everywhere.]
At this desperate hour for our country, I see new hope for the cities of America! It’s unfolding before my very eyes. I want to tell you about it.
There is an initiative unfolding in New York City unlike anything I’ve discovered in any other city in our nation. But it is a strategy that could take shape in every US community, large or small.
If it gains traction where you live, I promise you, nothing will remain the same.
Jesus Week 2017: Only One Manifestation of a Saturation
Saturday, May 27, will launch a week of concerted prayer and ministry when hundreds of churches and ministries collaborate in New York City for Jesus Week 2017. In every zip code of the Big Apple, church congregations will be walking the streets, praying for every resident and every business. One whole day will be given over to serving in practical ways the needs of the bodies and souls of the city’s people, in Jesus’ name, through thousands of volunteers working, praying, and ministering in their own neighborhoods.
The week will culminate on June 3 with a citywide celebration of Christ, as a multitude gathers to worship Jesus in the open air in Times Square. To learn more visit Jesus Week 2017.
Respected churchwide conveners are spearheading these efforts—such as the New York City Leadership Center, American Bible Society, Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, along with another extraordinary year-round outreach called Saturate New York.
Let me tell you more about Saturate New York. All of us need to listen to their vision. We need to draw on their free resources. What they offer is relevant to cities everywhere. Let’s look at the basics.
The Main Ambition of Saturate New York
Simply stated, the overarching ambition for pastors and churches working together as Saturate New York comes down to this:
To saturate the churches with the supremacy of Christ in order to saturate the city with the glory of Christ.
The movement has taken the “great commission” of Acts 1:8 to form the template for a cooperative, comprehensive mission to fulfill this ambitious vision. Let me show you why.
After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit (poured out on them by the ascended, ruling Savior), the disciples were told to focus on four spheres: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Saturate New York has creatively contextualized these outreach quadrants to effectively spread the gospel into major spheres that make up life in New York City.
Based on Acts 1:8, here are the fivefold action steps for Saturate New York:
- AWAKE New York
- WALK New York
- BUILD New York
- RESTORE New York
- WELCOME New York
Let’s survey each briefly. The following is adapted from an official Saturate NY document.
AWAKE New York
You will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
As Saturate NY leaders observe, the starting place for Jesus’ disciples was not to go but rather to wait—to seek God’s face until he “saturated” them by the Spirit’s power with the risen, reigning life of Jesus. That prior saturation of God’s people with God’s power is just as essential today if we’re to flood our cities with the glory of God’s Son.
Executing a strategic outreach plan devoid of the Holy Spirit’s power is like sending men to battle in perfect military formation without weapons. We as leaders and all who serve with us can never saturate our neighborhoods and boroughs with rivers of living water if our people and we are parched and barren.
Jesus prayed in John 17 that his main reason for revealing more of his glory to his followers is “that they might be one.” When Christ saturates God’s people with more of his grace and greatness, this enables us to promote greater unity among God’s people as we collaborate to share Christ in every zip code and community.
One key step towards NYC’s saturation is holding weekly prayer meetings of Christ-focused pastors and ministers in each of the 59 Community Districts (CD) of NYC. They gather to pray for their region as well as to discuss ways to help God’s people grow a much larger vision of Christ.
They are praying to see their churches and ministries increasingly saturated with the reality of the supremacy of Christ so that their people will be motivated to saturate their neighborhoods and beyond with the glory of Christ. They are praying for what many leaders today refer to as a “Christ Awakening.”
A vital resource NYC leaders are turning to in order to achieve this first goal is ChristNow.com.
WALK New York
You will be my witnesses in JERUSALEM: reaching our neighborhoods.
To ensure “Christ saturation,” the outreach has created prayer and evangelism grids in every Community District and zip code in NYC—neighborhoods, parishes, etc.
As the foundation for these grids, every June for ten years Concerts of Prayer Greater New York has mobilized the PRAY NY event during which every zip code in the city is prayer walked. Saturate New York is building on this by helping each local church to take responsibility to execute systematic monthly prayer walking/visitation in their “gospel zone” or “parish.”
They draw on advanced mapping technology that’s available for any church in any city at http://www.Pray4EveryHome.org. This resource can provide participating churches with a list of the nearest 5000 homes surrounding their location. A list of names, addresses, income level, new neighbors, probable language spoken and more is made available to partnering churches. Each church can launch a prayer strategy toward community saturation.
City saturation is not a pipe dream. Pray4EveryHome can give every congregant a prayer list of 100 of their closest neighbors, empowering each one to pray for five of these families a day. Every day a prayer list is sent to a participant’s inbox with the names and addresses of five neighbors to pray for on that day. Assuming an average of 3-4 persons in every household, 30,000 praying neighbors can saturate a city of 10 million with prayer in short order!
BUILD New York
You will be my witnesses in . . . JUDEA: reaching our struggling schools.
Judea represented a larger region surrounding Jerusalem. To execute an outreach to our “Judea,” we should ask: “How can the Church best reach the larger cross-sections of our communities?” NYC leaders believe that reaching into the many struggling schools is the first major step (the second step is outreach to the marketplace and first responders).
Over a million students attend the NYC public school system. That number is greater than the population of the 10th largest city in America. Right now NYC churches are purposefully aligning with neighborhood schools with prayer and a variety of community partnerships.
The Thrive Collective is championing this movement. This organization tirelessly serves to connect, assist, and map school-church partnerships. The Saturate NY website, coupled with the Thrive Collective website, provides many practical, easy “on-ramps” for blessing and building a healthy relationship with local schools. Step by step, each act of service opens the way for Christ to extend his kingdom work among the youth of the city.
RESTORE New York
You will be my witnesses in . . . SAMARIA: reaching NYC Public Housing.
Samaria of old was the neighborhood “across the tracks.” It was a place of racial disdain and multigenerational devastation. Currently, America is experiencing profound societal disintegration. When saturated with Christ’s fullness, the Church is divinely equipped to respond to this crisis. Jesus went into Samaria and brought living water (John 4). We must do the same.
Saturate NY has uncovered 334 struggling NYC Public Housing Communities (NYCHA) as their first steps toward fulfilling the Samaria assignment. They are encouraging churches and ministries to work together, pray for, and come alongside each NYCHA complex.
Urban Hope NYC is partnering with Saturate NY to encourage and equip partnerships between the churches and NYC Public Housing. Metro World Child, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Young Life, Street to Street and many other wonderful ministries are aligning with neighborhood churches to build powerful, comprehensive ministries in these communities.
WELCOME New York
. . . and to THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: reaching immigrants and internationals.
Even though most NYC churches support and encourage overseas missions, people from the ends of the earth are already in New York City—as is true in most communities in the USA. Therefore, world outreach begins right here.
Saturate NY empowers and resources saints and churches to strategically evangelize the 800 ethnic enclaves in NYC. Global Gates is their lead partner in this endeavor, helping to educate and inspire NYC churches with regional conferences and church consultation.
Another amazing partner, Christ for All Peoples, has just donated 200,000 Jesus Film DVDs (each embedded with 24 languages!) to NYC. In addition, Pray4EveryHome has provided Saturate NY access to the database of Mapping Center for Evangelism in order to identify every home in NYC where a language other than English is spoken at home.
Next December, the Body of Christ is preparing for a massive Christmas campaign during which local churches will distribute the Jesus Film DVD as a Christmas gift to their neighbors who have come from many nations.
The Possibilities for YOUR City Are Just as Great!
Leaders across New York City fully believe that as the Church begins to move together like this in strategic prayer and in sharing the gospel in word and deed that by the Spirit’s power they will saturate the world’s leading global city with the saving, transforming reign of our glorious Savior “as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).
But they also are convinced it must begin with a full-orbed Christ Awakening inside their congregations—that God’s people are themselves newly saturated with the majesty and wonder and supremacy of God’s Son, living in the joy of a genuine Christ Awakening.
Learn more about the Saturate NY story by reading David Beidel’s practical overview, Saturation: A Plan for Gospel Immersion (in English and Spanish), available in ebook or paperback through Amazon. His book contains the narrative, theology, and full strategic plan for the saturate movement.
The Father is no respecter of persons or cities. The reign of Christ today offers the same hope for your community. Why settle for less?
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ-proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI) and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely-read book at www.ChristIsAllBook.com.