Dear Citygate | Reflecting on 2021
7th December 2021
As 2021 comes to an end what do we feel the Lord has shown us, is showing us and how is He directing our future? As Christof recently noted in a staff meeting God loves Citygate more than we do. We have the awesome privilege of shepherding his church and his people. I trust we do this with the reverence it demands, and we continually thank God not only for his precious revelation but his grace and mercy as well.
In the midst of possibly the worst Pandemic most of us will ever experience God has blessed us. When we moved out of the school I had a sense that our time there was over and God has been so good in giving us a home in a space that invites us to believe the dreams and visions of those that have gone before us and indeed our own as well. It is remarkable that less than 300 metres from our offices in Glenwood we have a place to worship that cements another foundation in the pocket of redemptive revival happening in the vicinity of the Glenwood Bakery. Adam Robinson is in many ways a prophetic picture of what God is doing in this area, a man working in his gift and call, creating an atmosphere of excellence as he bakes his bread and creates spectacular food. Ian Campbell-Gillies (UBF) and many other significant Glenwood gifts frequent this hub and the consistent interactions between key people like him are slowly creating the unity required to shift our neighborhood into revival. Where Umbilo /Glenwood becomes a sign and wonder to the rest of South Africa and the world; as we know so well that this UNITY will attract God’s blessing. And His blessing will bring revival to every part of our community. Streets will be clean, business will boom, schools will get stronger, churches will be full, skills development will change the lives of the poor, entrepreneurship will flourish, the poor will be fed, safety will be a tangible reality, the arts will overflow, the pavements will be filled with happy chatter, people inviting neighbors and strangers and sometimes angels around their dining room tables.
The Citadel Co-Workspace has received a piece of faith filled kryptonite as Karen B, fueled and inspired by a rhema word from God has applied her significant gift to building the marketplace and in doing so restoring families; “Wise people are builders, they build families, businesses and communities.” I am not sure there is a more apt word in season for the development of the Citadel. There have been significant functions in the last month that give us so much faith for so much more.
And as I have often said, what are we inviting people into? It is brilliant that we are influencing our community with inspirational events; but these are more than exceptional events, they are invitations into a far bigger story; a story with eternal ramifications where people respond; “there is something different here, tell us more.” And it is this that we long to hear. It is this opportunity to invite people into a radical kingdom journey where we can not only tell them about Christ, teach them about Christ but invite them to also experience Christ through the hands and feet of a passionate, radical, wild and empowered kingdom family.
We have a deep desire to see the priesthood fully alive. This means that every person at Citygate has a role to play. Can we be a family where every member owns the call of God on their life, not concerned about our position other than the reality that we are sons and daughters of the most high God, this is our highest honour. And it is from this place of intimacy and security that we find the freedom to be ourselves and to walk into our unique calls. And as we do this, the magnificent tapestry comes into place, a weaving so beautifully unique, masterfully intertwined by the Holy Spirit so that only God gets the glory. It is happening already, people like Diane Smith, robed in purple inspiring our faith, we are learning from one another, embracing a culture of honour, an electric atmosphere of prophetic power that is a sign and wonder for all those who encounter it.
Citygate, this is all within our reach not because we are specifically talented or worthy but because God is passionate about his name. He continues to gaze from heaven desperately keen to stand as he did for Steven, we have one opportunity, one life to show our glorious Father how much we love him and we do this by faith. This is our gift to one another and our gift to God, our simple acts of radical obedience that bring glory to His name. He will do more than we can think or imagine. In the midst of the endless genealogies in 1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! one man’s prayer interjects a long list of many who didn’t dare pray it…Lord, like Jabez we cry out to you, enlarge our territory, not for our name but for yours.
Thank you Citygate, thank you for trusting us to lead you. Thank you for standing up and being counted. Thank you that you are not waiting for a pastors call but are being the pastor that the world and your family needs. Thank you for your patience as we continue to press into a rhythm of grace where we pray together, train together and celebrate together in ways that are sustainable, intentional, and productive. Thank you for forgiving us when we overlook you or when we have failed to communicate clearly, thank you for your continued generosity as you have faithfully sown into Gods church year in year out. Well done for pushing through the pain of difficult relationships and trusting God’s ways more than your own. Thank you for the phone calls, meals, prophetic words, dinners, gifts and for the hours you have served one another.
Oh Lord how beautiful is your church, there is simply nothing that compares. Jesus, you are our everything, you are our inspiration in the morning, our energy through the day and our peace as we lie down at night. We honour you mighty king and I pray for your abundant blessing on Citygate as we power into 2022 from a place of deep rest in you.
Nkosi SikeliAfrika. Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
To those of you taking time out, may you rest well, to those staying at home may you find his grace.
Lots of love precious family,
Mark, Nici and Citygate Elders