Friday, January 13, 2017

Reflections On City Reach

Reflections On City Reach

It seems like a cliche but it is true, it is very hard to believe that the year of City Reach has come and gone. What started as a dream that I only shared with family and friends, grew to include churches from California to North Carolina and a bunch of places in between. Now City Reach 2016 is behind us.

I finally became bold enough to begin talking about City Reach publicly in January 2014. By May of 2014 I posted about it here on Boggsblogs. (That original post is included below.) By September 2015 we had our first City Reach in Wichita, Kansas and by October 2016 we were having our last one in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

If not for the pictures, the stories I wrote down, the testimonies in my heart, Pastors that talk to me about it and many souls that were saved and delivered, it might still seem like a dream. It did start as a dream, but thank God it became a reality.

All of this became a reality because God's people made it so. Churches, Pastors and individuals prayed for us, supported us, protected us and promoted us way beyond normal and way beyond their own means at times. God used all these people to bring the Gospel to church lots, city parks, homeless camps and neighborhoods where people would hear the Word of God.

In absolutely every city, men and women that had never been inside the local sponsoring churches, came to the tent, heard the singing, heard the preaching and responded in the altar! That is exactly what we hoped would happen. That is exactly what happened each and every meeting.

We thank God for very soul that He saved. We thank God for every person that heard the Word. We thank God for every Pastor that was encouraged. We thank God for every saint that was strengthened. We thank God for every person that made one ounce of this possible. May God bless every one!

What Next?

As with many things in our lives and in our family ministry, I could not see much past 2016. I planned City Reach for that year and then expected things to get back to "normal" whatever that is. I suspected we could not keep the pace physically for more than a year so I envisioned going back to church revivals and "regular" tent revivals.

That is exactly what we are doing for now. 2017 will look a lot like many other years for us with a couple of notable exceptions that I will write about in the future. For the most part we will preach revivals, tent revivals and do our best to preach the Gospel faithfully and to be consistent in our practice of evangelism.

However, the further we went into 2016 and the more cities we visited with City Reach in 2016, the more we knew that 2016 would not, could not be the end of City Reach. Almost every city we set up in, wanted to see some version of City Reach return to their city in the future. Many of them wanted to do it again in 2017.

This much was plain to me, Kelly Jo and Bro. Jimmie; City Reach 2016 might be over, but the City Reach story was not near over. I am going to do some tent revivals in 2017, less than normal because of other commitments, and then in 2018 we will venture back into some of the cities we visited in 2016 and probably a few new ones.

I may never do a full year of City Reach from February to the end of October but who knows? God knows we are willing. I really believe that five or six cities each year are entirely doable. The cities that really desire to bring their churches together and reach for the lost in their communities, will find us willing to come along side with the Blue and White Gospel Tent to do our part in singing, preaching and reaching.

Honestly, by this point in 2017, our 2018 schedule would usually be pretty set. And although I do have many things in place, I am doing my best to be sensitive to God's voice and flexible to His will. I can think of no better place to be than in some inner city preaching the Gospel and watching hungry souls respond.

I have not given up on New York City. I have not given up on Los Angeles. I have not given up on Washington DC. I have not given up on Nashville. I have not given up on many other cities that I have prayed for an opening. Who knows what the end will be?

Unexpected By Product

A totally unexpected byproduct of City Reach is the relationships that were born, bloomed and blessed all year long. Another unexpected byproduct is all the doors that God opened as a result.

Bro. Jimmie Radcliffe started 2016 with us as a very good friend that I trusted very much. When he rolled out of the Lazy OD Ranch in his truck and trailer in November, I leaned up against the barn and cried. He was now my very dear brother pulling out and heading for Oklahoma.

Sometimes you like people a lot from a distance. You admire lots of qualities about them and you desire to know them better. But, as you actually get to know them better, you sometimes notice rough edges and blemishes in the facade the closer you look.

That was not the case with Bro. Jimmie. The longer he was with us in City Reach, the more we loved him and the more we wanted him to stay. We miss him every day and we are anxious to join up with him again in the future.

The Pastors in every city that worked closely with us will always have a dear place in our hearts. Many of them were already our friends, but laboring for souls together brought us closer.

Not only were existing relationships strengthened and expanded, but we met new friends as well. Our lives have been deeply enriched by these newly formed connections.

The sweet friendship with Pastor Johnson George, his wife Sis. Binu and the wonderful church in Phoenix is a good example. We are bound together with these saints for life and Pastor George has also opened an awesome door of opportunity in India for us.

Our new friendship and kinship with Pastor Ivan Hardyal, his precious family and church in Queens, New York is another example. I can not imagine not having them in our lives now. They have been knit to our heart.

The open door in Valley Stream, New York on Long Island with Pastor Sunny Philip and his dear wife and all of his church and fellowship is a third example. They have welcomed us into their hearts and many open doors have opened to us in upstate New York, Guyana and other places because of it.

Just yesterday I received a call from a brother completely apart from our Pentecostal fellowship asking for us to come and sing and preach in his church for a special meeting. I do not know yet if we will be able to squeeze it in this year but the fact that they want us to come, thrills us to no end.

All of these and much, much more are unexpected byproducts of the vision that God placed upon us for City Reach. I am more sure now than ever that the story of City Reach 2016 may be closing but the story of City Reach is not over at all, in fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the story is just beginning.

Thank you for joining with us. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for rejoicing with us as well! Below I have posted the original announcement of City Reach, many links from City Reach and a few thoughts I wrote along the way. I hope you enjoy.

Thank you for stopping in today.


Our Original Dream

City Reach is the manifestation of our burden for souls in our cities. We desire to join with local churches and ministries to reach people that are not coming into the sanctuaries we have prepared for them. Our choirs have practiced, our preachers have prepared and yet there is a certain number of people that are not coming to hear the message.

They will often come under the tent. When they come under the tent they will hear the message of the Gospel and they will have a chance to respond. When they respond, God will save, heal and deliver. We have witnessed it hundreds of times and now we are witnessing it in our cities.

The post below is the original announcement of City Reach 2016 and some of my reasons and vision for it. For updates on City Reach you can click on these links below. Some of them have links within for more information concerning particular City Reach campaigns. We are so excited about City Reach and others are letting us know they are excited too. We can not wait to see what God is going to do in lives.

Jimmie Radcliffe and City Reach

City Reach Fayetteville Summary

City Reach Richton Summary

City Reach Nashville Report

City Reach Dayton Summary 

City Reach Washington DC Canceled

City Reach OKC Summary

News On City Reach Washington DC

City Reach Tulsa Summary

City Reach Ft. Worth Summary

City Reach Atwater Summary

City Reach Phoenix Area Summary

Special Time of Prayer For City Reach

City Reach Phoenix Area - El Mirage, Arizona

Report On New York

City Reach New York City?

Jimmie Radcliffe Truck For City Reach

City Reach Trailer

Report on Planning and Vision Services

Planning and Vision Services For City Reach

Pictures of City Reach Richton

Summary of City Reach Wichita

City Reach Richton 

City Reach Newsletter August 2015

Latest City Reach Update  
February 2015 Update

The Original City Reach Post From May 2014

Today I am announcing a project we are calling City Reach 2016. It is huge news for us and we are glad to be sharing it with you today.

Everybody that knows us well knows we have a burden to take the message of the Gospel to as many as we can. As much as I can know my heart I believe we are willing to spend and be spent to offer hope to those that are hurting. We are now in our 12th consecutive year and 15th year total of full time evangelism, preaching and singing in churches all over America while holding revivals and trying to reach people for Christ.

While pastoring in Kansas many years ago I was challenged to take the Gospel of Christ outside the four walls of the church and hold outreach services for those that were not coming into our churches. Soon I was buying a tent and having services under it whenever possible in partnership with the church I was pastoring.

Through our years of evangelizing we have preached outdoors and under a tent as much as possible. The last three years we have organized and/or conducted or preached dozens of tent revivals and outdoor crusades in several states from Alabama to Montana and in Mexico and Nigeria, West Africa. This year we have tent revivals scheduled from Virginia to California. We have devoted several months each year to tent revivals and the rest of the year we preach revivals in local churches in various states.

We are very thankful for the doors the Lord has opened for us to minister to His people in churches and to reach for the lost under the Gospel tent. We thank God that those doors of opportunity are still very much open to us. We have been greatly blessed. 

Yet, I sense God directing us into metropolitan areas to reach for men and women there. My heart is nearly overwhelmed for those that are not coming into our churches that we have built for them or hearing the singing or sermons we have prepared for them.

I have been praying for nearly two years about expanding our tent revivals into larger cities. My board and close friends have been helping me pray about this for several months. Shortly after the first of the year I began to be brave enough to mention my vision publicly. The positive response has been overwhelming.

I believe that God has been preparing our family for this very moment. It is now time to share my vision and my burden with you.

I know there are churches in large cities that share our compassion for souls. I know there are Pastors with a sincere burden to see lost souls saved. I know there are people in these metropolitan areas that desire genuine revival. We want to find those churches and work with them to reach their neighbors, families and friends with the message of the Gospel. 

We do Not desire to build a personal following or turn peoples hearts toward us. We desire to work with local churches, recognizing and working under the authority of local Pastors in an effort to bring revival.

We have some resources that the local church may not have. We have a tent that will seat several hundred, a good sound system, a few hundred chairs, the experience to conduct the revivals and a message of faith, hope and salvation for the people that need it. The local churches have a crucial element that we do not have. They have a local presence, a local touch and access to local men and women that need Christ desperately.

Can we work together? Can we do something beautiful in an age of hate and ugliness. Can we bind together in a common cause to see people delivered from the awful bondage and curse of sin? By God’s help I know we can. I and my family are willing to do our part.

I am planning to devote the whole year in 2016 to tent revivals in metropolitan areas. That is why we are calling it City Reach 2016. We want to reach specifically for people in the cities. We have churches that are willing to work with us in Phoenix, Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Nashville and other cities we are praying about. I would also like to go to southern California and a city or two on the Atlantic coast or New England.

I am only booking regular church revivals in January of 2016. I plan to devote the next 10 months of that year to tent revivals in these cities. I envision 10 day to two week tent revivals with the rest of the month spent in preparation, set up, tear down and travel.

This is a huge undertaking. The logistics, work and expense for ten months of this will be tremendous. I have men that are willing to devote time and energy to help with the tent, singing, preparation and follow up. Local churches will help with planning, site preparation, utilities, canvassing, training and much, much more. All of this will require an extraordinary amount of organization. It just about boggles my mind.

During those 10 months I envision needing to hire a brother to help with the tent set up and transportation and other logistics. I have a very good dependable man that is willing to be the man I need. These costs plus the money for lodging, food, fuel, direct expenses of revival and our regular monthly expenses on the road will be several thousand dollars each month. I hesitate to speculate how much but it could easily approach $8-10,000 each month. Some of that will be covered by offerings during the tent revivals but I think it is prudent to have as much of that in store as I can before 2016.

We will also be adding another section of tent to expand seating capacity, more chairs and more sound equipment. These three expenses are probably around $7500. We are also exploring changing the way we transport the tent during City Reach 2016. I am hoping to zero out the transport change by selling our current trailer. 

How in the world will we pay for all of this? Well, the devil has been telling me I can not do it. He told me I could not afford tent revivals in the first place. He was absolutely correct as far as he went. I could not afford it but God has provided every dollar and kept us solvent all these years! Where God is guiding I believe God is providing.

One Pastor that we preach for nearly every year has pledged a monthly offering from his family toward City Reach 2016. They have already begun sending it. Since we will not be preaching revival for them in 2016 his church has offered to set aside a week that year to fast and pray while Tent Revival is going on in some other city and to send an offering just like we are there with them in revival. I am overwhelmed by their shared burden with us and their kindness and generosity to us.

They are considering this a home missions effort. The Pastor told me that he believes that God will help them in their local effort to reach out IF they are willing to assist in reaching folks they will never know and never have access too. I believe he is on to something. 

I know for sure that when he told me what they were going to do my faith took a flying leap toward God. Maybe, just maybe, I am not crazy after all. God could really be in this!

Another Pastor told me he would like to explore the possibility of going together with a few other churches and sponsor the expenses or half the expenses of one city. All of these things strengthen my resolve to walk through these doors and preach the message of the Gospel to as many people in cities as I can in 2016! I believe God is going to help us.

Bro. Jeremy Spurlock of Maranatha Missions would like to put together a team and help with canvassing for City Reach 2016 in Nashville and possibly another city. 

Pastor Phillip Sanders has pledged his church in Salem, Kentucky to help with some of the physical and spiritual load in Nashville. 

Evangelist Jimmy Millikin and his family are willing to help in some of the revivals as their schedule allows. We love working with the Millikin's every chance we get.

Pastor Scott Morris would like to join us in a couple of campaigns if it is possible. Bro. Scott would be a great help in the services. He is a tremendous blessing in the altar services and a great personal encouragement to me.

I tell you all of this to let you know that I believe God is stirring others in the same way we are being stirred. I believe God is bringing all of the crucial components into place. Yes, this is all way bigger than me but it is not bigger than God.

We are planning a city wide Tent Revival in Wichita, Kansas with several churches participating in September 2015. That will kind of be a kick off for City Reach 2016. I think that is appropriate since the desire for tent revivals was birthed in my heart in Wichita many years ago.

Will you join us in prayer about City Reach 2016? You might consider bringing your family or church on board to physically help in a revival near you or across the country. Maybe you would like to help with your home missions budget or special offerings. Maybe you could drop us a text, email or comment to let us know you think God is in this.

Call me or send an email if you have questions or encouragement. I love sharing my vision and I am thrilled when others begin to catch fire with me. I would be glad to answer any questions you have about City Reach 2016.

The cost and sacrifice will be great. It will take a huge amount of effort and long term commitment to pull this off. I believe the souls of men are worth it. If I really believe we have what they need to change their sin sick ways I would be a fool to keep it to myself. I refuse to keep quiet. It is like fire shut up in my bones and I can not keep quiet.

Thanks for reading and thanks for praying. Would you share this link in any way you can?

Thank you,

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