This phrase has 2 intended meanings. First, and most obviously, FBC Baton Rouge is located in downtown Baton Rouge (on the corner of 5th and Convention). You might say that’s probably unnecessary to mention, and you may be right, (although we like that you know where we are). But that is not the full meaning of this blog’s title. Our church family is not only located downtown, but we desire to identify ourselves with the downtown community. While our congregation is made up of people of all ages and backgrounds who live in many different parts of our city, we all desire to see FBC have the greatest impact on our neighbors and local community. As a corporate body, our neighbors and local community are those residents and businesses in the downtown area. So, to use a play on words, WE ARE DOWNTOWN.
For the Good of Our City
Part of the vision of FBC Baton Rouge is to be a church that seeks the renewal of our city through service, outreach, and cultural influence. We do not desire to take a stance that is always opposed to the culture as much as we want to stand for the truth of the gospel in the midst of the culture. We are a church for the city of Baton Rouge because we love her and desire to see her flourish. We believe the city is the place that not only creates culture, but also proclaims cultural ideas and philosophies that influence all people and communities. So if we are located downtown, and if we are committed to the downtown community, then we will seek to identify with downtown Baton Rouge and speak the gospel into the culture. From the residents, to businesses, to restaurants, to the arts and entertainment culture, we want to have a gospel-fueled impact on all aspects of Downtown Baton Rouge.
Rooted in Scripture
The Biblical foundation for this is found in the book of Jeremiah 29, where the prophet of God is commanded to write a letter to the people of God concerning their recent captivity in Babylon. In his grace, God called his people to remain faithful to Him, even while in a foreign land and in a foreign culture. God’s plan for his people was to make wherever they lived a better place. And so, in Jeremiah 29:7 we read what God commanded his people to do: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
We have the God given mandate and privilege to “seek the welfare of our city”. And our prayer is that in that grace-filled effort built on love and mercy, we will find much peace and renewal in our city for the glory of God who has graciously called us to this task. C.S. Lewis once said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” As Christians, we admit that this world is not our permanent home. But while we are here, we want to seek the good of our city for the glory of our God.