Seven Evidences of God's Grace in Memphis, TN
Only God has a full perspective on His work in the world. Yet, He allows each of His children to see His hand at work all around us if we'll just ask Him and open our eyes. Here are seven ways I see God's hand at work in Memphis. I could list more, but these are most outstanding at present.
1) Faithful Churches Proclaiming Christ & Him Crucified
I see a growing number of churches in and around the Memphis area (established churches, and new plants) that are faithfully proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus. My prayer is that in my lifetime, there will be exponentially more of these churches. This is an evidence of God's grace because there are many cities in the world that have zero faithful churches.
2) Partnership Between Pastors for the sake of Christ's Kingdom
In a variety of contexts, local-area pastors are getting together for prayer, encouragement, and partnership. I'm involved in three such circles regularly, and thank God for this blessing. This is an evidence of God's grace, because many pastors have zero friends.
3) A Heart for the Nations Infused in Many Churches
I'm consistently hearing pastors, staff, and members of congregations in Memphis speak about, pray about, and go to the world's unreached peoples with the gospel. I believe this is an eminent evidence of God's blessing, and pray that this fire will intensify.
4) A Gravitation of God's People Toward the City's Hardest Places
Memphis is known for many things, and many of those things are not good. We may be the only city in the world where nearly every resident knows the address of our city's prison by heart (a cookie for the first commenter with the right answer).
Even so, some of the city's "toughest" boroughs are being aggressively infiltrated with big-hearted believers who desire to see Christ magnified in those who are notoriously "bad." Several new churches have cropped up in these sorts of areas in the last ten years, and I count this as an evidence of God's grace at work in our city.
5) A Gravitation of God's People Toward the City's 'Least'
Like most cities, Memphis has a high concentration of under-resourced folks, maybe more so per capita than other similar-sized cities? We boast several of the poorest zip-codes in the country. Even so, there are Jesus-loving folks who are faithfully bringing the gospel to "the least of these" in word and deed, including the homeless, single mothers, and urban poor. I believe God is proving His grace through this expression of His love.
6) A Gravitation of God's People Toward the City's Youngest
By "youngest," I mean, unborn. Babyland is being prayed over, and people are leveraging their lives to protect and serve the unborn in Memphis. I believe this brings honor to God, and is an evidence of His grace. May this tribe increase!
7) A Heightened Understanding Among Believers that we ARE Missionaries
Faithful believing men and women are carrying the gospel to their neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances. I heard another testimony just this week where several years ago a "random guy" shared Jesus with a drunkard, and he was saved. What if every believer in Memphis caught this fire?