Spotlight Post: The City Church

Didn’t catch November’s Featured Ministry? Have no fear! We’ve got the lowdown for you on the Closer to Love blog.

Introducing yourself as a church planter can sometimes be a risky move in Christian circles. But Blake Bennett of the City Church in Jacksonville made his intentions clear at Sanctuary this past Friday. “There’s no pressure to get a reversible jersey and come join my church,” he said, “I just want to share what God has been doing.”

And for Blake and his church, God’s been doing a lot. Two years ago, while on mission in Baja, Mexico, Blake was watching the sun set over the mountains when the verse from Matthew 5 came to him. “You are a light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” As the sun set over the mountains, it seemed to be like that very city on the hill, casting its light for all to see. At that moment, Blake realized the Lord was calling him back to his hometown of Jacksonville to start a church that would let its light shine before others. In Jacksonville, and in many other cities in our nation, we’re told that our faith is fine—as long as it’s private. As long as it stays in your house, or in your head, you’re fine. But that’s not the kind of faith that Jesus proclaimed. That kind of faith doesn’t change a city. And Jacksonville is in need of change, there’s no question there. The City Church has planted itself in the heart of a dead city that the Lord wants to bring back to life, through ordinary, every day Christians.

Blake said he hears often from people responding to his vocation that Christianity is boring. His response? “Christianity isn’t boring. You’re boring and you need to jump off the cliff!” He calls the visitors to City Church “VIPS” because they’re very important to God, and they ought to be very important to us. That’s the heart of Blake’s ministry though the City Church, reach a city shrouded in darkness with the one thing that always wins. The redeeming gospel of Jesus Christ. If you’d like to visit the City Church, talk to Blake, or stay up to date with their ministry, you can like their Facebook page. You can also visit their website for more information.