I am on a church plant in the city of San Francisco.
That’s right. San Francisco.
Before making my way up here with my family, we were living in Christian country. As we were preparing to move, I made a sort of hobby of telling people we were planting a church in SF. With few exceptions, it would usually go something like this. I would reveal to an unsuspecting friend or relative our plans to move up here. After the initial shock, he or she would regain composure, close a recently dropped jaw, and nod glassy-eyed in quickly mustered approval, as though I’d just enthusiastically related that ear wax is my favorite bagel spread. After all, how does one respond politely to such a revelation?
“San Francisco, huh?” would come the eventual reply. “Will the church actually be in the city?” Yes, I’d explain, the church will actually be in the city.
The name “San Francisco” seemed to have a similar effect on most people I talked to. It conjured up images of 1960s rebellion, hippies, overdoses. It brought to mind memories of rainbows and gay pride parades. It represented all that was wrong with contemporary culture, the inevitable march of Western society away from Christ and toward…what?
I am grateful for truthXchange because of its committment to answering precisely that question.
Most Christians would agree that San Francisco is a pagan place. But understanding precisely what that means – not simply that immorality runs rampant here, but that an entire worldview and spirituality informs and enables it – is crucial to the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our day. Words like “sin” and “salvation” are emptied of their meaning in the pagan worldview. In order to effectively communicate to the world who Christ is and what he has done for us, the church needs to find ways to translate these increasingly foreign concepts into language that pagan people will understand and be affected by.
I have learned a great deal from the ministry of truthXchange, and am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute in a small way to its purpose of reaching an increasingly pagan planet with the gospel. It is my hope, in relating my experiences “on the frontlines” in one of America’s more pagan cities, that others will be better equipped to share the truth of the gospel with those who have yet to believe.
A new age of paganism is upon us… and not just in San Francisco. May God grant us the grace to remain faithful witnesses of his gospel to the world.