By Mark Harris
According to research done by Dr. Daniel Gilbert of Harvard, people are really bad at predicting who they will be in the future. Organizations are even worse. The reason is simple: it’s far easier to remember the past than to imagine the future. Because we don’t take the time to imagine the future, we assume that things will pretty much be the same in ten years as they are now. We erroneously believe that 4Tucson will be the same in ten years as it is right now.
At 4Tucson, we recognize that we’ve gone through some significant changes in our pursuit of biblical city transformation. It would be easy to believe that our current state has evolved into the completed version of the organizational vision. We can easily assume that in the future, 4Tucson will be mostly what it is today.
When 4Tucson was publicly launched in October 2011, I believed with absolute certainty that the mission of biblical city transformation was at the very heart of God. As I read the Bible each day, it seemed that every book was filled with example after example of God’s power transforming individuals, cities and even nations for His glory.
For the last eleven years, 4Tucson has built a neutral platform for the biblical city transformation of our city. At the heart of the platform are these seven foundational principles, and it will be these foundational principles that guide our future.
Principle #1: Followers of Jesus are to be salt and light in our world. Individually and collectively, we are to do our good works in such a way that people praise God for what we do. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Principle #2: Followers of Jesus are to have dominion over ALL of God’s creation (Psalm 8:6; Psalm 103:22; Psalm 145:13; 1 Peter 5:11). Part of God’s creation includes the structures (the policies, ordinances and laws) and the institutions of society (the gatekeepers of cultural norms) (Romans 13:1-7). As Jesus followers, we have been given the responsibility to exercise dominion over every area of God’s created world. Any area where Jesus followers do not exercise dominion, evil fills the void.
Principle #3: Followers of Jesus are the preservative in society. We are called to alleviate the immense suffering of people imposed by governments and enforced by individuals who desire to have power over people (Matthew 20:25; Matthew 5:13).
Principle #4: God’s ways work better than any other philosophy or ideology known to mankind. By following God’s ways, Jesus followers prevent the foundation of civilization from devolving into chaos and deep suffering of people (Psalm 11:3; Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 23:37).
Principle #5: God’s ways, when followed in every area of our lives, are the secret to the abundant life He promised (Psalm 128:1-4; John 10:10; 1 John 5:12).
Principle #6: Only followers of Jesus who have a clear biblical worldview are able to show society a better way to live – God’s way (John 3:17; Matthew 5:14; 1Corinthians 2:14).
Principle #7: Every follower of Jesus is created, called, and gifted by God to use their influence to make a positive difference in the world around us. (Ephesians 2:10)
4Tucson has been an early pioneer in developing transformational city movements across the United States. 4Tucson was designed for Jesus followers to use their gifts, strengths, and values to engage at a city level and to provide a safe place to experiment as they fulfill their God-given purpose for the common good of our city.
Building on the foundation 4Tucson has built over the past eleven years, our city will be a better place 10 years from now. The need for the godly influence of Christians engaged at all levels in the city is needed now more than ever.
If you have been on the fence, trying to decide if you want to get involved with 4Tucson - do it. Get involved and see what the future will look like when you allow God to use you to make a positive difference. We need you!
Here is a link to join 4Tucson.