This blog was written by Jay on June 17 & sent to us at the CTC offices:
Today, June 17, 2011 found me in downtown Sydney joining a group of over 40 university and high school students for prayer. A good number of them left the prayer meeting to take their final exams. Why would these students gather in the dead of winter in the early morning to pray?
The answer they give is because their city needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Adrian Tam and seven other student leaders decided a few months ago that prayer was the key to unlock church planting work in downtown Sydney. They began as eight students and now they regularly have forty plus students every Friday who gather to pray for the renewal and transformation in the lives of those working long hours in the tall buildings that surround their little prayer meeting in Martin Place. Martin Place is in the center of downtown Sydney and a main train stop for thousands of daily commuters. The buildings around Martin Place hold thousands of influential leaders in commerce, law, finance, and the media.
As the city of Sydney came to life today, I was so encouraged as we prayed together for the citizens and leaders of Sydney. As we prayed for men and women in leadership like Sydney’s Commissioner of Police, Andrew Scipione, who love Christ and are serving their city. At the end of an hour of prayer, the young leaders sang several songs of praise to the Lord and then headed for their universities.
In December 2010, I was privileged to meet some of the young men and women whom God is directing to begin new churches in Sydney. They are part of the RICE movement, over 10,000 Asian-Australian young people and leaders who want to be used of God in Sydney. Steve Chong, the RICE movement leader is encouraging men like Adrian Tam and Michael Nhieu, soon to finish his studies at Moore College, to start new churches. Adrian Tam will soon complete a double degree at his university and believes that God is calling him to start a new church in downtown Sydney. Why am I excited about this group of young leaders?
First because they have been led by God to begin with prayer. Through prayer they will enter into closer communion with the Lord and with one another. Through prayer they will further connect with their ultimate source of all true power, Jesus. Through prayer they are intentionally and steadfastly claiming Sydney for the Lord, believing that He wants to bring Gospel change and renewal to their needy city.
Please pray for men and women like Adrian Tam who love Jesus Christ and are joining thousands of other leaders in the global cities who are starting urban center churches in their generation. They are from all different evangelical churches in Sydney... Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Hillsong, and many others. Pray that God will give these young leaders new dreams that will harness the imaginations and resources of the older generations to unite, take steps of faith, and to risk for the sake of the Gospel. Without faith God teaches us that people perish.
Each Friday wherever you are in the world at 7 AM, please pray for church planting in Sydney and then for those starting churches in your own city. God is sweeping millions into the global cities of the world every month in order to bring glory to Himself, to ensure that they hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. We at Redeemer City to City and City to City Asia are greatly encouraged by these prayer efforts.
Note: City to City Asia is a new sister organization partnered with Redeemer City to City, focused on planting gospel-centered churches in Asia’s global cities.