Unleashing the church to bring life to the city.
We’re thrilled to share a few excerpts from our friend Alan Scott’s upcoming book, Scattered Servants. The book is being released on 1 November, and you can order your copy through the Vineyard Worship shop.
Dreams that Shape the City
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” @ Ephesians 2:10
You are engraved by the very hand of God. God’s hand reached into your life and inscribed something unique on your soul the moment you were conceived. He wrote His dreams into your core. He inscribed something unique in you that the world has never seen before. And if you knew what He had for your life, you would never be jealous of anyone else. God in heaven has entered your life to make a difference beyond your life, and that difference is meant to spill out everywhere on everything. You are uniquely wired by God to dream according to His design and unleash His creativity in our communities. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
But God will not do them without us. They are good works for us to do. God has deliberately limited Himself, restrained Himself, so that we can experience the joy of dreaming and doing together with Him. Romans 8:28 says, “God works together with those who love him to release what is good.” We know that in everything God works together with those who love Him to release what is good. Now, to make this idea more specific, try saying it this way:
We know that in politics, God works together with those who love Him to release what is good.
We know that in medicine, God works together with those who love Him to release what is good.
We know that in finding a cure for cancer, God works together with those who love Him to release what is good.
We know that in wealth creation, God works together with those who love Him to release what is good.
We know that in entrepreneurial thinking, God works together with those who love Him to release what is good.
We know that in developing technologies that reduce poverty, God works together with those who love Him to release what is good.
With this in mind, we enter our cities praying, “Father, help us to work with You to release what is good for the city. Give us wisdom and revelation into who You are and what You have given us so that it utterly changes who we are and what we are for. Grant us insight into Your purpose and help us take initiative in bringing it to pass. We give ourselves to that wholeheartedly. Give us the audacity to believe that there are greater things still to come, greater things still to be done in the city.”
God has prepared good works in advance for us to do.
These good works are not somewhere in heaven waiting to be prayed down. They are hidden in our hearts waiting to spring up. There are also things He has hidden in the heart of your community that will only be released when you come along and align yourself with them. There are families without purpose, marriages without passion, businesses without direction, communities without hope needing to be reminded of their design. They are waiting for someone to remind them that this is not all they were made for, that God in heaven has drafted them into the divine dream that awakens them to their eternal purpose.
God has prepared good works in advance for us to do.
We have the assignment to invade the realms of society in a way that brings the kingdom. When this text gets hold of us and we get hold of it, we begin seeking to see the wisdom of God so infiltrate our lives that it makes an impact on our cities. We begin to wonder what it would look like if the wisdom of God were turned loose. The divine dream begins spilling out. We understand that the call to go after the lost includes the redemptive dream not only for souls but also for cities. God has prepared good works for us to do in our cities as well as our churches. He has divine desires and dreams that every environment in our city would come alive to His presence.
You Are the Light of the World.
I stood before our congregation as I had done many years before when declaring we would see one hundred people come to faith. This time the declaration wasn’t about people coming to faith or church. This time there was no declaration, only a question: What do you think God dreams of over this city?
The greatest advancements in medicine are yet to happen.
The best politicians are yet to emerge.
The best economies and economic models are yet to be built.
The best artists who will paint and sculpt some of the best artistic designs are yet to come.
It’s time to dream dreams that shape the city.
The dream of God over your life is not that you become a believer and help out the local church. The dream of God over your life is that you come alive in His presence and bring life to every environment, spilling contagious hope into hurting humanity. God has entrusted believers with an assignment to lead the earth into life. We must pursue that which God has given us for the transformation of the nations. We must unleash the unique blueprint of God for our lives and our community in a creative, expansive, and imaginative way. And we must not call arrogance what God has called obedience, even if everyone else labels it arrogance. It’s not arrogance to take our place in the city—it’s obedience in what we are supposed to do.
Jesus didn’t enter your life so that you could attend a church and contribute to a ministry. Jesus entered your story so that together with Him you could go rewrite the story of everything, everywhere. That is your calling; that is your task; that is your assignment.
You are the light of the world.
It is time to let our light shine, to demonstrate original design. It is time to show that God isn’t just good at religion or spiritual things. Our God is good at everything. He’s good at medicine and innovation. He’s good at filmmaking and a master of art. He’s a best-selling author and an amazing sculptor. He has all these ways to bring hope to town, and He is summoning His dreamers now. And they’re dreaming wild dreams … over all of creation, every area of culture!
Taken from Scattered Servants © 2018 Alan Scott. Published by David C Cook. All rights reserved.
I wrote this book intermittently over several years. I preached some of the content at churches and conferences in different regions and nations. After the years of labour I thought that… https://t.co/uIXuh6QFrZ
— Alan Scott (@Alan_Scott) October 27, 2018
It’s an amazing thing to see something that started as a dream in your heart become established in your hand. I’m so grateful for the journey this book represents and the stunning… https://t.co/Bt5AzWLmGh
— Alan Scott (@Alan_Scott) October 23, 2018