NOTE: This article on church planting and how cities change originally appeared at our sister-site churchleaders.com, and is used by permission.
We couldn’t see his face, but we could hear he was tearing up. His voice quivered over the phone line. Mark Harris was telling us his journey from isolation in ministry to embracing his place in the citywide Church. His story moved us, but he was not the first (nor last) pastor we’ve heard recount a similar conversion.
Mark moved to Tucson to plant a church with the burning desire to see cities change, starting there. In the first 10 years of ministry, his church of 100 people planted 18 churches of various denominations and in diverse communities. People were coming to Christ for the first time and more churches were being planted. But city statistics were worse off than before they came to Tucson. Murder rates, teen pregnancy stats and high school dropouts were all high. Bankruptcies were up and fewer people were interested in spiritual things. Every measure of city health was worse than when they started 10 years earlier.