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Norwich leaders hear of city transformation 

Transformation expert Dr Alistair Petrie talked to Norfolk church leaders about the keys to unlocking cultural and spiritual change across an area and the barriers and challenges to it, at a meeting in Norwich on May 20. Keith Morris reports.

 Alistair Petrie on City Transformation 
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Alistair was in Norwich for a week at the start of a three-year project, initiated by Transforming Norwich, to enable the local church to address the issue of societal transformation, one which he has already helped begin in 800 cities right across the world.
 
Speaking to around 50 church leaders at Soul Church in Norwich, Alistair said: “Norwich has caught the attention of many people around the world and is being prayed for by them.
 
“We have come to see what God is doing, to learn from you and with you and to share with you some of those areas where God is currently working around the world. Also, what God is saying to then church in a global arena and how that might be affecting the church in Norwich and Norfolk.”
 
We see people being transformed, but can we see whole areas or cities be transformed before God, asked Alistair.
 
“In a global context we have seen that if people and leaders pray in a particular way, we can actually see a societal shift taking place,” he said. “We begin to see a framework in which an authentic transformational revival shifts the way in which businesses, politics, ethics, morals and academia also begin to change their attitude towards the Lord. God would begin to brood over cities in a way we had never seen before as we began to undertake certain principles God was teaching us about.”
 
The transformation process started with eight cities around the world from Kenya to Guatemala, Columbia to California which featured in the first transformation DVD in 1999.
 
“You cannot expect to see your city changed beyond where you yourselves as leaders and pastors are prepared to go yourself,” Alistair told his audience.
 
He went on to outline some of the elements involved in beginning spiritual transformation. They include: spiritual mapping or epidemiology; pastoring a city; city transformation; healing the land; reading the signs of the times; having a healthy world view; mandatory spiritual warfare; deception and obstacles for leaders.
 
AlistairPetrieNorwich1x450He also outlined challenges in preparing people and cities for God’s presence. They include understanding: the perspective of the cross; issues of the heart; our identity; the issue of protocol; the power of repentance; holy ground; obedience to the Word; the power of intimacy; and God speaking to His church.
 
The requirements for releasing God’s power on the land include: unity; foundations within the church; identifying the gaps; renewing your mind; restoring the altar of worship; identifying and binding the strong man; and a strategy to move forward.
 
“Walking as one releases the beauty and dynamic and distinctiveness and destiny of our different shapes and sizes and giftings – together we can get the task accomplished,” said Alistair.
 
“We need all of our denominations to complete and not compete.
 
“Revival comes when we break down the walls of the churches and re-engage with our culture.
 
“You need a critical mass of the church to be desperate for a move of God and be prepared to pay the price,” said Alistair.

You can hear Dr Petrie's entire message on the audio link above.

Alistair will also be speaking at the Global Day of Prayer at Norwich Cathedral on May 24 and at other locations in Norwich leading up to that.
 
Pictured above is Dr Alistair Petrie addressing church leaders at Soul Church in Norwich.
 

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