Here is the forward by Tim Keller from Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard's Book, Why Cities Matter: "Christians, particularly in America, are generally negative toward cities. Several mission executives have told me over the years that we need to send missionaries to the fast growing cities of the world (as well as to the regenerating cores of Western cities), but very few American Christians have lived in urban centers or even like them.
We need churches everywhere there are people, but the people of the world are moving into the great cities of the world much faster than the church is. And therefore we must call Christians to better understand and care for cities, and we must call more Christians to consider living and ministering in cities."
This is worth considering when defining missions, especially when many Christians still qualify and quantify missionaries by how remote or different the culture is from their own.
Here are a few other points from Keller on analysing Paul's missionary journeys and key benefits of the cities.
The Apostle Paul :
1. Went ot the cities to preach and only planted churches in the cities
2. He was urban-centric in his mission
3. Paul left the country ministry for the churches he planted to reach with the Gospel
Key benefits of mission in the city:
1. People are constantly going through changes, which causes the city to be less conservative and open to new ideas. If you want to reach the world you try to reach cities. The world is in the cities where people are more open to the gospel than they would be in the country.
2. The ministry worker can win not just individual people, but win the world. The missionary can go to Morroco for ten years and do mission or go to London and reach the world. Because Christians concentrated on cities, a high percentage of cities were Christian by AD 300.
3. You need to reach the city in order to reach the culture. Chruches in cities are the only hope that the things coming out of the culture will change the culture and ministers must reach the whole city to reach the world. We need multi-ethnic churches and we need to reach the elites of the city for the benefit of the culture.
4. My overused and favourite quote of Tim Keller: As the cities go so goes the culture.
These are a few more thoughts of the mission going to the city. Not at the expense of the country ministry, but for the future of the Gosepl work in the culture and for the world.
Just a few thoughts, what are yours?
A few prayer points:
1. New sermon series at Rouse Hill Bible Church
2. New series and season at City Bible Forum
3. Kids heading back to school
4. Bible Study Fellowship begins soon
Thanks for your prayers and support and the adventure continues...
Written by Russell Matthews for Matthews Down Under