February 11, 2015
Welcome to the first CitybyCity blog. My name is Colin Shaw and here is the first of what I hope will be words of encouragement to all those who are looking to God for an increase in unity, prayer, His manifest presence and transformation, in towns, cities and the nation. That will be the focus of this blog site. Here is a brief word about Grace and myself.
Family wise we have four children and nine grandchildren. Most of our forty years of ministry has taken place overseas in Thailand, Philippines, Canada and Australia. Now we are back in the land of our birth. Being back in NZ after so many years abroad was not something we envisioned up to four years ago. Then in the midst of an amazing set of circumstances we had a clear word to relocate and did so three years ago. Prior to this though I, and Grace at times, had been in and out of NZ for several years sharing on unity and prayer, facilitating pastors prayer-summits and roundtable gatherings for leaders.
Obviously the land of one’s birth holds a special place in one’s heart. Along with this goes a vision I received 45+ years ago - of a heavenly fire sweeping across NZ. This has remained vivid over the years. To be back in NZ having some part to play in preparing the way for this fire and the fulfilment of God’s great plans for our nation is a great privilege.
Since being back in NZ we have, among other things, served as interim pastors for three months, facilitated leaders prayer summits, been invited to locate in three cities (about three weeks in each) in order to encourage and connect pastors. In 2014 being the bi-centennial year we located in Auckland in order to support, as much as were able, Glyn Carpenter and the work of New Zealand Christian Network. We honour Glyn and NZCN in its unique role, connecting and resourcing the Body of Christ in Aotearoa. Now with my picking up the reins for CitybyCity - we would appreciate your prayers.
There is so much to say but that’s for another day. I intend to keep these blogs short and to the point. I have just returned from a quick catch up with leaders in TeAwamutu, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier and Taupo. A highlight was attending the 'Blessing the City' day in Te Awamutu. The story is now in the CitybyCity EBook. If you click ABOUT at the top of this blog you will find the link. Its well worth a look.
A final word: In John 13 -17, it’s hard to escape the emphasis that Jesus placed on togetherness. Jesus made it clear that, 'by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another'. His prayer in the garden is centred in a passionate cry, ‘Father make them one even as we are one’. Over in the book of Acts the emphasis continues. The early church was careful to be ‘of one accord’.
Is this emphasis continuing today? What does God require of His people in order to bring a Psalm 133 blessing on our towns and cities?
I thought that Seth Fawcet's comment regarding the Great Commandment in a recent email was very relevant and well worth sharing here:
“One of the ways we as local leaders and groups of leaders can be involved in extending the Kingdom is placing a priority on this commandment. In particular ‘loving our neighbour as ourselves’. This means that our neighbouring churches and congregations of believers will have a major place in our individual and congregational planning and commitments.”
Until next time. God Bless.