We live in an
Urban Disciple-Making is Crucial
The world today is 55% urban, or 4.2 billion people, and is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. According to the Cape Town Commitment on Global Missions, “Cities ought to lie at the heart of any 21st century strategy for global mission.”
What is Urban Discipleship?
- Theological foundations. God loves cities (Jonah 4; Luke 19:41-44).
God shows His care for cities by sending prophets and missionaries to them (Micah 6:9; Acts 13-14, 16-21).
- Contextual foundations. Cities are dense, intense, and magnify everything.
- Research tools. We need to develop and use tools to research the city for ministry.
- Prayer for the city. Cities are so big and complex that we need divine direction.
- Under-resourced, poor. People on the margins of society have physical, social, and spiritual needs. Christians are called to care for the poor (Matthew 25:34-40), yet ministry to the poor, in slums, is sorely lacking around the world.
- Influencers, culture shapers are people in the city who significantly exert influence on other individuals, institutions, or broader society. Often influencers are largely unreached, and yet, impacting them can have far-reaching ramifications.
- Migrants, diaspora, and unreached peoples are moving into cities and often perceive themselves as outsiders. We have new and better opportunities to reach them in cities.
- Young people include children, youth, and young adults. This generation of the future, a global youth culture, is largely in cities and is searching for meaning and identity.
- Place. God calls people to places for ministry, to reach and bless the people in them.
- Spiritual forms (incarnational-contextualized mission).
- Evangelism and discipleship. Forming urban relationships and communication.
- Church planting. Teamwork, community, and collaboration.
- Social forms (holistic mission).
- Building community. Gifts, associations, hospitality, boundary-crossing love.
- Community organizing. Helping empower the community, ABCD.
- Justice ministry. Standing up for the poor and oppressed.
- Organizational forms.
- Leadership development. Equipping indigenous and multiethnic urban leaders.
- Collaboration between churches, and potentially with businesses, government.
- Technology as it effects culture, using it for effective ministry.