Wednesday, November 30, 2005

An Open Letter To Our City Councillors

City Councillors...

We appreciate the hard work that you all do... and the situations you often have to deal with. So please know every Friday when you hear the "Community Prayer Siren" sound at 11am, that many many Christ-followers are praying for you and for our community.

To love one's neighbor as himself includes the desire that our neighbors also benefit from creating a great community. We know the turmoil and strife brought on because of evil in the world -- it's no surprise. And we're anxious to help do something about it. For instance, several of you were present last summer at the westside townhall meeting. The entire evening was focused on SOLUTIONS, not the problems -- everyone there already knew the problems. One public official after another presented some great answers. Then churchmen. Then neighbors.

Interestingly, if my memory serves me well, not one single voice was heard to say... "We could cure some of our problems if government would grant special protection for the homosexual lifestyle." Actually, we heard just the opposite -- more focus on helping families, more mentoring of young men, greater impact by churches and the good news and compassion that Christ offers our communities.

Increasingly, our Bible-believing pastors, leaders and congregations in the city are not only working hard to bless the community, they're now crossing lines that may have formerly divided us, to partner together for impact here. The Transform Indiana ministry network is reaching out to build urban partnerships with suburban pastors and congregations... bringing resources to Indy... at no cost to the city/county government. And together, Christ-followers are bringing hope.

Not only are our own metro Christians working toward a great community, over a year ago thousands of Southern Baptists came to Indy from all over the U.S. for their annual convention. Most came a week early and did all sorts of servant-works in our neighborhoods. Similarly, last summer, the Indianapolis Star cited the 25,000 Nazarenes who came to Indy with their money in hand for supplies & tools, and many with gloves on, to help rebuild inner city homes, etc... a blessing with no price-tag for Indianapolis. And very recently the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) brought over 2,000 'inner-city driven' Christians to the Racing Capital of the World for their annual conference -- including all sorts of workshops, tours of Indy ministries in action, special speakers inspiring further inner-city development -- focused on helping our community and their communities become more and more impacted by the love of Christ.

Why do you suppose Indianapolis is so attractive to them? They didn't come for a Colts game. We're not a first-tier convention city. They didn't come for the great weather or our beach. They came because our city is family-oriented and a cut-above what they see elsewhere.... and we're working hard to improve it all the time. [And btw, even the Colts seem to be benefiting greatly because of the quiet, godly character of an inspiring coach.]

So as you address the special-rights issue contained in bill #622 which again surfaces before you, let me encourage you to govern toward godliness -- you can't go wrong. We all need to work together toward a greater sense of morality that builds a strong fabric in society.

And if you consider your task simply a political or business decision, then at least decide prudently. Prioritize the types of bills that need your attention most. Consider how to empower those who love living here and building this community. And consider who else brings to your city their time, talent and treasure to help make it great.

We're praying for each of you. Indianapolis is a great community model that others come to see. Keep up the good work.

Blessings in the name of Jesus Christ, who wept over the city because He cared for the people in it.

Neil Cox

Monday, November 21, 2005

Networking at CCDA Indy 2005

Just a note to say I'm looking forward to the moment that I'm caught up, after CCDA Indy 2005. Wish you could have been with us -- hopefully next year in Philly.

What a blur! Record attendance (up nearly 70% from last year!), great cyber cafe and internet connectivity, GREAT PRAYER ROOM, great spiritual temperture, great networking and real relationship-building, and great everything. It was so awesome I scarcely had time to post anything at all. So we'll be doing it this week as we reflect back. We're already getting some neat blogs posted as people return home to make a difference in THEIR cities.

Had a great time with Jarvis Ward (Mission America's City-Reaching Division ), and enjoyed 'connecting him' with so many others here and around the country. Likewise Andrew Sears and all the young folks from -- great partners for the 50-state network. It was good to hook up again with our NYC/Indy friend, Glen Kleinknecht ( Here's Life Inner City) and Phil Olson and his Network 9:35. And of course I enjoyed working fevorishly with Indianapolis folks as well... including Eldon, Ray, Scott, Tom, Mike, Merlin, Maria, Tia, Dr. Ware & soooooo many of his students and faculty at Crossroads Bible College... and all the 200 others helping locally. And of course... all the neat, neat folks in the Chicago headquarters of CCDA -- what an awesome bunch! Also, our "City Blogging" workshop went well -- Jeremy Del Rio, a new blogging friend and co-presenter -- and I believe will help to stimulate yet further connections around the country. You can read about it at you-know-where...

God bless you brother for all your encouragement and help in creating the 50-state network of "driven Christians".

Notice that Barry has now started creating an ability to aggregate all those 50 states' feeds... at Now we just need to get busy filling in the best-in-class bloggers from their various states across the country.

Awesome work, Joe... and all of you copied! Who knows just where God might take all this, as a result of driven Christians humbly working together at the speed of Light, to make a difference in our cities for Christ.


City Blogging...

[I'll expand on this later, but here's our "City Blogging" workshop, given with Jeremy Del Rio at CCDA Indy 2005. Continued at]

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Well done"...?

"We must acknowledge that the Church during the past nineteen centuries has been extremely negligent in her duty, and that the crying need of our time is for her to take seriously the task assigned to her. Instead of discussions of social and economic and political problems, book reviews and entertaining platitudes from the pulpit the need is for sermons with real Gospel content, designed to change lives and to save souls. The charge of negligence applies, of course, not only to ministers, but equally to the laity. Every individual Christian is called to give his witness and to show his faith by personal testimony, or through the distribution of the printed word, or through the generous and effective use of his time and money for Christian purposes. Christ commanded the evangelization of the world. That is our task. Surely He will not, and in fact cannot, come back and say to His Church, "Well done, good and faithful servant," until that task has been accomplished." [Boettner]