As we intensify efforts and strategies to birth and develop a Christian, classical school in Teresina, Piaui, it is important to be reminded of just why such an endeavor is important from a kingdom perspective. It is impossible to ignore the importance of cities in the New Testament in regard to the spread of the gospel. Some of the greatest missionary activity and church growth recorded in the Bible took place in cities such as Ephesus, Corinth, Athens and Rome. When John records the Revelation vision he says, “I saw the city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God…” (Rev. 21:2). Certainly, no one would suggest that rural areas of the world are unimportant or should in any way be ignored in gospel strategy. However, it cannot be stated too strongly that greater missional concentration must be carried out in the large cities of the world as more and more people move out of the suburbs and back to the cities. In a recent blog post (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/05/28/are-you-ready-for-cities/), Matt Smethurst asks the question, “Are you ready for the urban future?” This is a question that the church will be faced to answer in the very near future. And the answer will direct and inform the next generation of missionary work across the world.
Consider these facts regarding Brazil’s population. The Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), which runs the Brazilian census and compiles the latest population data, completed its latest estimate in August 2011, and reported that it believed Brazil had 192,376,496 people.
Sao Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world, has over 11 million people within the city limits. But this is not Brazil’s only large city. According to IBGE there are over 17 Brazilian cities with no less than 1 million people and 4 cities with no less than 2 million people. Over 80% of Brazilians live in cities. Therefore, it only stands to reason that the church should be increasingly strategic in laying a strong gospel foundation within these cities.
Teresina and all other cities should be important to the church because they are important to God. This is why we are driven to establish Christian, Classical schools throughout the country, so that we might teach and model the only message that can change lives and bring about hope to a hopeless world.