Skip to main content

Urban Strategy

We live in an
urban world…

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).
    1. Evangelism and discipleship. Forming urban relationships and communication.
    2. Church planting. Teamwork, community, and collaboration.
  • Social forms (holistic mission).
    1. Building community. Gifts, associations, hospitality, boundary-crossing love.
    2. Community organizing. Helping empower the community, ABCD.
    3. Justice ministry. Standing up for the poor and oppressed.
  • Organizational forms.
    1. Leadership development. Equipping indigenous and multiethnic urban leaders.
    2. Collaboration between churches, and potentially with businesses, government.
    3. Technology as it effects culture, using it for effective ministry.

Learn More:

Connect with us to
learn more about serving

in urban centers!
John White
Urban Strategies Coordinator