As a church body that knows Christ, we know an aspect of our faith is living like Christ. And Christ loved his people. We know that part of living our faith together is about loving our city together. LOFT City Church is a community in Richardson that sees all people as created in the image of God and longs to see them worship in spirit and in truth. We want to love the hurting people of Richardson and the rest of the world!
This is a first of a series of blog posts on how to love our cities well, especially the vulnerable. The blind, the sick, the hurting – the outcasts of society were the ones Jesus drew near.
It’s our calling to help the marginalized as well. As Jesus said,
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Matthew 25: 44-46
Before we can love our city well, we have to know our city well. I highlighted just a few aspects of the city so we can consider how individually and as a church, we can be agents of light, truth, and change in our cities.
Richardson has been recognized as a safe place for families, a great place to raise kids, and many companies call Richardson home. More than 88,000 people work in the City of Richardson each day.
There were 40,020 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families.*
According to https://datausa.io, 10.4% of the population for whom poverty status is determined in Richardson, TX (11,176 out of 107,196 people) live below the poverty line. The largest demographic living in poverty is Male 18-24, followed by Female 18-24 and then Male 25-34.
The most common foreign languages in Richardson are Spanish (13,518 speakers), Chinese (3,676 speakers), and Vietnamese (2,153 speakers), but compared to other places, Richardson, TX has a relative high number of Urdu (972 speakers), Hindi (1,463 speakers), and African Languages (1,572 speakers).
I encourage you to look up your own city if you don’t live in Richardson. Learn about its strengths and gaps and how you can have a small part in your neighbor’s life. Maybe it’s reaching out to your literal neighbor, helping host a block party this summer, or volunteering for a shelter or library. A lot of communities offer ESL or computer skills classes, or they have retirement communities that would love to lunch served or music played!
As believers, we are required to love and show mercy. The great thing is, we’re already equipped for these things! Love and mercy don’t require big gestures. Usually, it’s just about offering a hand when no else does or listening to someone who has no one to talk to.
For the summer, we’ll be reading reflections from members of LOFT about ways that we can pour into the places we live and work.
Don’t wait. How can you love your city today?
*As of the 2015 American Community Survey