Becoming a Blessing to Central Arkansas

“My mother had the most impact on my life,” says Dr. Fitz Hill (co-chairman of the 2009 Central Arkansas CityFest and President of Arkansas Baptist College). He says she modeled a life of faith and service to others. “She just believed in serving the Lord outside the walls of church and that has been imbedded in my heart.”

Hill says his mother knew no strangers in his hometown of Arkadelphia. When she took community children to various school and church events, she talked to them about life. Hill says that was her way of giving them a life map for positive choices. “Because the life map for negative choices are right there, too. If you don’t know any other road you will usually take the one that is most accessible … and not the one that is best for you.”

2009 CityFest

When Hill was asked to be a 2009 co-chairman for Central Arkansas CityFest, he felt that he had been called by God to serve in this role. He said that he trusted the Lord to work out all of the details. Hill recognized CityFest as an opportunity for community churches to get out of their individual walls for the glory of Jesus Christ. “CityFest is about reaching out and bringing people together.”
He really liked the Seasons of Service prior to CityFest, with its emphasis on community projects. He was encouraged as he watched different churches interact in the community. “Each church has to find what … their mission field will be,” he says, adding that the choices for the Season of Service were endless. They included reaching out to the homeless, teaching literacy, and partnering with area schools. “This is not a cookie-cuttter [outreach] where everything has to fit,” Hill says. “You just have to find the best method to make a difference for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

As churches come together for the common good of the city, Hill says they are a catalyst for positive change in the community. Three hundred to four hundred churches working together for the common good of the city can accomplish much more than churches functioning as isolated silos working in their own capacity. As churches have joined with one another, there has been a sense of a common goal of improving our community.

Hill says it’s important to be in line with what God has called us to do, which is be a blessing to others. He believes that we have an opportunity to be a very special community. “When you try to bless yourself, you block God’s blessings,” he says. “When you try to be a blessing to somebody else, then the blessings will automatically come back to you. If we can become a community that each day wakes up and tries to be a blessing to somebody else, everything else will take care of itself.”

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Below are some articles regarding CityFest, a foundational project of the Nehemiah Network, and the desire of members of the Network to see the city of Little Rock transformed.

Catch the Vision

Harry Li, Campus and Teaching Pastor at Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, has the vision that the Body of Christ should be a picture of unity.

When asked why unity is important to him, Li said, “It goes back to my theological understanding of the Body of Christ. If we really are one Body, and I do believe we are, then we must make extraordinary efforts to ‘be one Body.’ We can’t just claim it any more than we can claim that our individual church is unified. It takes constant effort and corporate, citywide prayer to build and nurture the process by which unity amongst the churches in the city can be built.”

Cityfest has played a role in creating unity within the Church and the effects of that unity can be felt all over central Arkansas. Li said that Cityfest, “served as a catalyst to bring churches together unlike ever before in all areas of ministry. We see things like the Esperanza [free medical] Clinic in southwest Little Rock. No singular church could have pulled off what has happened there, but collectively, many churches were able to get it to this point. It will take as many churches to sustain the effort and to continue to build it. Instead of one church doing a little, there is a synergistic movement, which I believe comes from the Holy Spirit, when churches work together. ”

Li believes if the Church in central Arkansas could really capture the vision of unity and cooperation, “There will be interdependence on one another, instead of competition between us. There will be a new identity that is based on who Jesus is, instead of what comes before the word ‘church’ on all our signage. There will be a level of cooperation that will allow much more to be done together as one body instead of the sum of individual parts. And there will be no division between parts of the Body, instead we will pull for one another and help each other in humility.”

No division between parts of the Body. Pulling for one another. Helping each other in humility.

Are you ready to catch the vision?

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