As the flood waters of secularism and immorality rise around Christians, the work of Christian evangelization and Christian charity will become more and more difficult and dangerous, in every sense of the word. One doesn't try to save a drowning person by jumping into the torrent with them when dry land is nearby along with the support of others. Communities such as that proposed by the City of God Villages offer the safety of a Christian environment - dry land - from which to reach out to others.
The proposed City of God Village Community will be based on the concept of the "extended family," in which multiple generations of members function as a family unit, recapturing the many benefits of the natural extended family. Although each individual and nuclear family will be responsible for their own livelihood, the physical and spiritual well-being of each extended family will be the responsibility of its members. No Community members will be left in need.   Click HERE for Questions & Answers regarding the City of God Villages' Extended Family Program.
The Village will include businesses, such as shops, medical clinics, farm and manufacturing operations, providing work for at least half of the Community's members. The strategy of the Village will be to tailor its businesses and activities to the talents and callings of the members it serves. The revenues from the Village businesses, as well as the financial support from Community members that work outside of the Village, will provide the funds for the Community's outreach programs.
The basic purpose behind all of the programs of the Community should be to spread the message of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Christian charity will be the medium for its evangelism. Community members will have the opportunity to share the fruits of their labor with those in need as they share the Gospel of the Lord. Those that are called to be missionaries will be able to rely on the support of the Community. Teaching members and other Christians to become effective evangelists and missionaries will be a key function of the Community.
Before entering the Community and participating in its Christianity-based micro-economy, prospective members will be encouraged to simplify their lifestyles. It is important for all Christians to become reliant on God in the person of the Holy Spirit for all of their needs. The resulting, more focused lives of Community members will help mitigate the cost of providing the essentials to its members in need while it extends the potential outreach of each member.
The following thoughts regarding the Community and Village do not address all of the programs and opportunities, issues and problems that will be experienced. The purpose is to provide the Christian community at large with a basic structure on which the Christian heart and mind can build. To follow Christ is a personal walk, and each of us experience it in a unique way. Joining a Christian Community is but one.
Educational Centers ("...and teach them")
Christ, the consummate teacher, said, "Whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven." (Mt 5:19) Christian Education is the most complete form of evangelism. It leaves the individual with a clearer understanding of the Gospel than any other means. It furthermore can give the individual the tools to teach the Good News to others.
Providing an education to all Community members will also be a key objective of the Community. Complete facilities and personnel to teach children from pre-school through High School and to provide adults with continuing-education courses will be included in the Village.
Children in preschool through kindergarten will be provided for in a facility connected to the Village structure, providing a special level of security. Day-care should be included for parents that work in or near the Village. Grade and High School facilities and curriculum will be maintained at an effective level, in terms of society-at-large. (The Community should also fund the Christian College education of its members.) The High School will include indoor and outdoor sports facilities along with indoor recreational facilities.
Seminars and Retreat Center
As envisioned, the Christian Village will provide an excellent site for Seminars and Retreats, in keeping with the mission objective, to teach others how to evangelize. A special Reception Center will be included for all visitors to the Village.
Work ("receive...fields" )
When Christ said, "receive...fields" (Mk 10:30), He was referring to those that would and did leave their work places to follow Him. He promised a hundred times more fields in return in this life. By sharing the resources and talents that are provided by the Spirit, to earn their livelihoods, Community members receive, as promised, a hundred times more resources and talents from the sharing of other Community members, which in turn provides true Spirit-Reliant security for its members.
Sufficient acreage, on and around the Village property, will be farmed to supply Community members with fresh produce, and to share with others through the Community's evangelization program.
Facilities to manufacture and/or finish modular housing and facilities-modules will be located near the Village. (Clothing may be manufactured in a Community Work Center connected to the main Village structure.) Equipment to transport the modular housing may also be acquired.
Stores ("your Father in Heaven knows you need these things")
The Community will provide "to each one according to (their) needs" (Acts 4:35). Stores and warehouses, operated by the Community, located in the Villages, will provide the "essentials" to members in need. The far simpler lives of followers of Christ will mitigate the problems and costs of doing so. Community members will be able to anonymously take what they need and share what is shareable.
Christ told his apostles to, "Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid." (Mt 10:8) The Village will include a general-practice medical clinic, a dental and medical specialties facility (including physical therapy), a hospice, and a pharmacy, which will be provided to the Community and shared with those of lesser means and those of greater means as part of the Community's evangelization program. For its own members exclusively, a quarantined infirmary will be provided.
"Back to the Basics" does not preclude the use of state-of-the-art technology. Its prudent use will be evident throughout the Village, farm and manufacturing complex. As an example which relates to the Community's medical services outreach, and in keeping with the strategic plan for the Community, healthcare electronic products may be designed and manufactured in the Village complex.
The "exportation" of the Extended Family concept
We believe that the Extended Family concept serves the need for small Christian communities. It is the plan of the Community to offer to establish, promote and grow the Extended Family Experience in the community churches of its members. As part of the Community Concept, the establishment of Extended Families is a response to the Directive, "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mt 22:40)
From "Small Christian Communities - A Vision of Hope":
"God dwells in community. The three persons of the Blessed Trinity love and share to such a degree that they are one God. Jesus implied a similarity between the union of the three divine persons and the union of God's children when he prayed the prayer of unity, 'that all may be one...as we are one.' (Jn 17:21-22)
This likeness to God reveals that human beings cannot find themselves fully except through a sincere gift of themselves. It is through self-giving, therefore, that communion with God and others is established. Sacred scripture teaches that the love of God cannot be separated from the love of neighbor."
We also believe that each Extended Family should partake in a family-oriented evangelical outreach activity based on Christian charity as Directed by Mt 25:34-36.
The Christianity-based micro-economy concept - for those who wish to participate
Community members agree to "retain that portion of their income needed for their livelihood and the support of their church ...and to share the rest with the Community and those of lesser means." The Community in turn sources the essentials needed for members' livelihoods and members can take according to their needs from those resources. As more sources are established, members will adjust their retained incomes. As members become more reliant on the Holy Spirit, in part through the Community's Christianity-based micro-economy, they will feel more free to live simpler, sharing, better focused lives, mitigating the costs of providing the essentials to members.
No one in the Community will be judging any member's level of sharing or participation. The Community's budget and programs will be based on projected levels of income and involvement as supported by the Holy Spirit.
The Christianity-based micro-economy proposed for the Community stems from two Bible passages, Mt 25:31-46 and Mt 6:24-34. They could be paraphrased as follows:
No one has to worry about money or even the essentials of life while they serve God (and follow Christ). The Father knows what we need and should be trusted to provide accordingly (through the Holy Spirit). Instead, we must concentrate on the kingdom of God and what He requires of us, and God requires us to believe in Jesus Christ and to share what we have with those in need.
Simpler (less costly) lifestyles
Christians that desire to follow Christ more closely are usually willing and even eager to simplify their lifestyles to free up time and resources for the work of the Lord. This process, of simplifying one's lifestyle, is recommended to persons planning to join the Community. When one is part of a Community, this process is easier to go through.
Simple Christian-family sharing
Within the Community, each individual, couple or family is responsible for their own livelihood, but each is also part of a Community Extended Family, which produces some additional "Christian" economies and provides the support key to participating in the Community's micro-economy with confidence.
Living on a budget (with Community support behind you)
Each Community member agrees through the Covenant to retain that portion of their income needed to maintain their new lifestyle, support their local church, and to share the rest with the Community and those in need. What this means in terms of actual contribution is entirely up to them and God.
Volume Community purchases
The Community will make available to members sources for all of the essentials for day-to-day life, i.e., food, drink, clothing, housing and medical care, plus educational resources. Some, hopefully most, of the essentials will be produced or provided directly by Community members, while others will be purchased from outside sources. The production or purchase of the essentials in volume by the Community will generate economies.
Essential items or services available through the Community will be provided at no cost to its members, but each individual, couple or family will receive an accounting each month of the cost of these essentials to the Community, so that members can adjust their budgets and share with the Community accordingly. Receipt of the essentials must be reported as income, but they are provided at cost. Sharing is reported as charity. Economies result.
Minimal accountability, maximum anonymity
The only accounting of essential costs-versus-sharing will be provided as a single number to each Extended Family, and then only as a total for the Extended Family. So, the sharing and receiving will remain largely anonymous. Extended Families will also receive monthly Community financial reports, as well as financial counseling, when requested, for any of its members.
Indirect Community support and employment opportunities
Community members will also be encouraged to use the goods and services provided by Community members through the Village's facilities. This will also provide a means of indirect Community support. Village businesses will in turn provide employment opportunities for many members. These businesses will be open to the public as well, and will feature Community made goods and specialty services.
Last but not least, every family and certainly every community of families should be constantly aware of the possible risks to its members and have a plan for every eventuallity wherever possible. Some City of God Village members will be given the task of planning for everything from power failures to pandemics to earthquakes, a long list in these dangerous times. As a Community of Christians we must prepare to take care of our members and be ready to take care of those outside of our community living in close proximity to the Village.