Editor’s note: The following article was written by Rev. David Beidel, founder of Saturate NYC. The organization is inviting local churches and believers to join them in a five-week Gospel initiative called Jesus Week XL from May 25 through June 29 (video below).
By Rev. David Beidel
In 2012, Staten Island was devastated by Super-Storm Sandy. A 15-foot wall of water surged one mile into the densely populated eastern shore of our borough. In one night, 10,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and 75,000 people were homeless. Our small coalition of churches responded quickly and passionately; but the breadth of devastation was paralyzing. The crisis was unlike any we had ever faced.
We gathered to pray for our city and for wisdom to respond as Christ would have us. Very quickly, we decided to divide the entire flood zone into neighborhood “parishes.” There were seven in all. Each had around 2,000 homes. Everyone then adopted a parish. It was very “Nehemiahesque.” We all worked on our section of the wall. We operated like sub-contractors working together on the same building project. We all concentrated on our assigned neighborhoods, but also constantly shared resources, manpower and best practices.
Together, we gutted and “mucked out” over 1500 homes, visited, prayed for, cried with, conducted “needs surveys” and coordinated an army of volunteers to serve and bless nearly every one of our flood traumatized neighbors. A holy flood out-flooded the flood of devastation.
Life eventually began to normalize, but we wondered if we wanted normal again. The question haunted us, “What if we operated like this as a way of life instead of as a “one off” response to a crisis?” We began to seek God’s face, gathering weekly for prayer. Soon we partnered with David Bryant (Founder of Concerts of Prayer and Proclaim Hope!) and pored over His Christ Institutes so that the two vital wings of awakening might be in place: “Do you love me…Feed my sheep.”
David became a vital partner of Saturate NYMetro. We long to see the Church saturated with the knowledge of Christ so that our entire region would be saturated with the knowledge of His glory.
Soon we began to strategically adopt neighborhoods and struggling schools, as our areas of Gospel Responsibility. We began to care for our impoverished and blighted neighborhoods in kind of “neo-parish” kingdom partnership. We mapped and coordinated outreaches to make sure that every home was cared for.
God has lavishly blessed this humble attempt to honor the John 17 Great Commission. It is troubling that this passage is side stepped so often. It is the most direct promise of awakening in the New Testament. If we walk in oneness with Jesus. If we walk in oneness with each other…the world will know JESUS.
The Saturate movement quickly spread throughout the five boroughs and is now exploding into New Jersey and Long Island. To date, over 2.6 million homes have been adopted for Gospel Saturation. One of our early outreach partners went on to launch Saturate USA with a passion to bring the Jesus Film to 60 million homes by 2020. We at Saturate NYMetro continue to push forward regionally utilizing the Acts 1:8 template as a blueprint for collaborative city/community transformation.
Our goal is to mobilize 5-20 churches in every zip code, who will strategically align to reach their neighborhoods (Jerusalem), schools (Judea), blighted regions (Samaria) and ethnic enclaves (ends of the earth). Until there are no sheep without a shepherd in the tristate region. (The plan is fleshed out in “Saturation, A Plan For Gospel Immersion.”)
We simultaneously feel God’s joy and His hungry heart. He has blessed us with unthinkable resources to accomplish the mission of total Gospel Saturation. Every Home For Christ has already donated over 3 million beautiful, custom made Gospel tracts along with thousands of outreach-oriented Bible studies. Over the last two years, over 30 million dollars and 30 tractor trailers full of amazing Gospel resources have flooded our city. The American Bible Society funded the creation of the Saturate NY Metro App and website along with thousands of Bibles.
The power of the Church impassioned and empowered in Christ, equipped with Gospel resources and strategically aligned to reach every home for Jesus is breathtaking! Tens of thousands are coming to Christ. Saints are being ignited with missional passion as they experience rivers of living water flowing through them. Individuals and families are getting baptized and joining local churches. The Gospel is being preached to the poor, the lonely, the addicted and the afflicted.
Join us for a summer of outreach with “Jesus Week XL.” Truckloads of amazing Gospel resources are available for any church that has a heart to reach out to their neighborhoods. We are joining forces with 130 nations worldwide for Global Outreach Day on May 25th and then continuing to encourage and supply outreach events until June 29th where we will hold a Grand Finale Worship Celebration event in Times Square!
The church in Metro NYC is truly marching towards a day when there will be no sheep without a shepherd in our region, a day when the knowledge of the glory of the Lord in the face of Christ covers our cities and communities as the waters cover the sea.
JESUS WEEK XL VIDEO:
Jesus Week XL is right around the corner! 5 Weeks of evangelism and outreach all over New York City. Want to get involved? Visit our website www.jesusweekusa.org to sign up for free evangelistic materials. And make sure you like and follow Saturate NYC and Jesus Week for the latest updates and outreach opportunities.
Posted by Saturate NYC on Tuesday, April 16, 2019