I am heading into the city of Sydney on the train. It is packed. People getting ready to get back to work and I am surrounded by a multitude of cultures. European, Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian and many others and all would probably consider themselves Australian. It reminds me of a quote from a missionary friend who said, “Sydney is the city where the mission comes to you.”
I will concur with this statement. Sydney is not a mission field, but multiple mission fields. If I think about it a bit, that statement would be true all of over the world in all of the major cities. In missions, it should give us pause to think of going where the people are living, working, worshipping and experiencing life.
Based on the latest World Health Organisation, there are more people in 2014 living in urban (cities) settings than in rural settings. Based on the trends, by 2030, 6 out of 10 people will live in an urban area. The trend has been growth in city populations by 1.2 million every week.
Looking at these statistics, mission organisations need to evaluate where they are sending their workers. Churches need to begin to consider the paradigm for missions work is not only in rural centres, but in urban centres. This is not at the expense of the rural missionary, but with the view of growing mission opportunities. People who would not consider doing work in the remote tribes of Asia or Africa, but would see the urban setting as an opportunity to reach more people for Christ. If 6 out of 10 people will live in a city, for the greatest impact for Christ, why not consider the urban setting?
I am going to share a few things over the coming months to open the discussion for Urban Ministry in Missions. It is not a new idea, but I think it is one that needs to be revisited for the future of missions.
Question for our readers: When you think of missions, do you think of the city? Why or why not?
The Forum: Pray for people to come along to the upcoming series and panel discussions.
-What is so great about Christianity?
-The Bible on Trial
-Does God have freedom of speech?
-Guest speaker: David Murrow - Why do men hate going to church?
Urban Ministry Summit: I will be going to Bangkok in February to meet up with other missionaries looking to do work in the Urban centres of Southeast Asia.
Family: Everyone coming off the summer holidays - Work, School and new church opportunities
Rouse Hill Bible Church: New series, New bible studies and new visitors at the church
Thanks for your prayers and support,
Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Josh and Caroline