I survived the New York Blackout 2003, and I have the T-shirt to prove it. I
went to New York to do research on the cover story and found a city in
desperate need of Christs love. The blackout that covered New York and a large
part of the northeast in a blanket of darkness doesnt even compare to the
spiritual darkness that millions of New Yorkers live in every day. The
spiritual darkness that plagues New York is replicated in cities across North
As we saw this summer, blackouts in our major cities can create chaostraffic
was gridlocked, people were trapped on elevators or subways, food perished, and
security was uncertain at best. When people live in spiritual darkness their
lives become chaotic. Imagine the life without Christ its a life spent
wandering around looking for direction, trapped by sin and no sense of a secure
future. Christ brings order to chaos, and as Christians we can bring Christ
North America and our world. The temporary blackout reminded me that as
Christians we need to be salt and light in a world saturated in spiritual
Throughout the years, our major cities have become centers of spiritual
darkness. Today, 64 percent of North Americas population lives in the 50
largest cities. However, only 25 percent of Southern Baptist churches are in
those areas. In this issue well take a look at how Christians and urban
churches can become beacons of light to North Americas cities.
The North American Mission Board recognizes that one of the keys to reaching
North America for Christ is reaching our cities. Since 2000 NAMB has been
targeting cities in North America as Strategic Focus Cities (SFC). Cities that
have already been influenced by the SFC strategy are Chicago, Phoenix, Boston,
Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Miami. New York City will be an SFC
emphasis in 2004-2005 and Vancouver in 2006.
During my visit to New York, I was encouraged by the spiritual lights that I
saw around the city. I saw Christ in the mother helping her children memorize
Bible verses on the subway. I saw Him in the Broadway actor who doesnt hesitate
to share his faith with his castmates. I saw Christ in the faces of people
lined up on the sidewalk for a weeknight church prayer service.
As we spread His message, God can bring light to urban darkness.
Carol Pipes, managing firstname.lastname@example.org
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC