Some cities are known God’s work within them. For example, Azusa Street in Los Angeles was the geographical center of the birth of Pentecostalism. For another example, read this article about the number of notable churches in Minneapolis, MN. I’ve wanted to visit Minneapolis to explore the churches there for a while, especially Solomon’s Porch, Woodland Hills Community Church, and (though the article overlooks it) Church of All Nations, pastored by Jin Kim. In the article above, the director of one ministry says Minneapolis has gone through a “quiet revival”, with a thousand new churches in the city in the past twelve years. God is up to something there.
And God’s up to something here. Last Saturday, at The Upper Room’s first prayer service, one person recalled that for years people have said that Pittsburgh would one day be known “more for God than for steel.” And, there’s been a boom of church planting: Open Door, Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, a Vietnamese congregation, and our newly born Upper Room. And that’s only the Presbyterian churches! Among the Methodists, there’s Eighth Ave. Place in Homestead, pastored by my friend Keith. A few months ago I found out about plans for two more new churches in Pittsburgh: East End Ecclesia and another called Lifestone and yet another targeting Millvale.
There are a couple ways to look at what’s happening: (1) Everyone’s jumping on a church-planting bandwagon and jumping into competition; or (2) the Holy Spirit is stirring up something new in Pittsburgh and we can all work together in the work of expanding the Kingdom of God. I prefer option 2. What if Pittsburgh is going to be the site of another quiet (or not-so-quiet) revival? If Minneapolis can handle a thousand new churches in twelve years, then there’s still lots of room for new communities of Christians to spring up in Pittsburgh. What if in a few years people will be writing articles about the city once known for steel but now known for its transformation into a city of disciples of Jesus?
If you want to join us at The Upper Room’s next prayer service – and come pray for God to move in Pittsburgh – come join us at 2:00 pm on November 15th at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church (4005 Murray Ave.). I’m excited to see what the Spirit’s going to do in the future of Pittsburgh . . .