You may not be aware of this, but for the last several years some well-known and unknown people in the Body of Christ have been compelled to move from various areas in the United States to “The Friendly City” of Bradenton.
Those I have spoken with all have a common thread, in that they felt God called them here and that He was going to do a great work.
When we first started our church in 2006, we were gathering in a small meeting room in a hotel in Palmetto just over the DeSoto Bridge. After only a few shorts weeks of meetings I came over the bridge into Bradenton, when streams of tears began to flow.
This occurred on a regular basis for several months. I truly understood what other people of God meant when they would say, “God has put a city in my heart.”
Throughout scripture, cities would be known for various characteristics, i.e. a city of refuge. You find in the New Testament when God spoke to the churches He addressed them as the church of a city. For example “The Church of Corinth,” “The Church of Ephesus” and so on.
These letters were not written to a specific church, but to “the church,” the Body of Christ in that city.
I was away last September for three days for a concentrated time of prayer when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said; “I have not called you to build a church but rather to love a city, as you love this city I will build the house.”
That was a profound moment for me that confirmed and revamped my mind-set towards ministry.
I would like to be so bold as to write to the church of Bradenton and say that God has called you to love this city, to get out of the four walls of your church buildings and serve your community through acts of kindness, demonstrations of power, bringing forth ideas from Heaven to bless His beloved city. To be salt and light, to be “the city on the hill” in this city that cannot be hidden and be His vessel that brings His Kingdom to the earth in Bradenton.
“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).
Would you join me in being a living epistle, a living letter that delivers the heart of the Father, the love of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to this wonderful city?
That’s the Kingdom Perspective!
Don Sturiano, pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, can be reached at 776-0026. Kingdom Life Christian Church meets 10:30 a.m. at The Renaissance on 9th/Senior Enrichment Center 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. For more information, visit www.kingdomlifechristianchurch.org. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.