The other day I wrote about my desire to see the impasse broken where it feels that those already committed to urban ministry are primarily talking to themselves.
I want to share a few ideas about how local churches in more prosperous areas can engage with urban mission. The best way to do this is through partnership and specifically through partnership with other local churches.
So, today’s idea is very simple. Why don’t you arrange to partner or twin with a church working in an urban priority area? I’m sure that this is something that organisations like The FIEC, The Evangelical Alliance, Partnership UK, 20 Schemes, 2020 and CPI would be delighted to help facilitate.
Examples of this type of partnership already exist where a larger church partners with a smaller church and provides support through employing an assistant pastor who gains experience with the larger church but acts as the lead worker for the smaller church as well. So, this is one way that a partnership may happen but with a specifically urban focus.
Other ways that partnerships/twinning could be fruitful include:
1. Setting aside a portion of your mission’s budget to support the urban church in its ministry. Don’t insist that it must be spent on a project unless the church asks for help with something specific. Encourage them to retain autonomy in these matters.
2. Give time for your elders to meet with their elders together and individually to provide sounding boards and mentorship.
3. Encourage members of your congregation to visit
4. Pray for them regularly.
5. Find out whether they would appreciate some help with manpower for particular outreaches such as a holiday club, door to door ministry, a leaflet drop.
6. Help provide visiting preachers in order to relieve the pressure on their preaching team, especially if the team is in reality just one person. However, don’t just send in visiting preachers without any understanding or sensitivity to the context. Find the right people who will be culturally sensitive and able to be relevant, engage with and support their preaching programme.
7. Have church weekend away together somewhere.
8. Allow their pastor/elders to preach in your church. Give them space to talk about their mission when they visit.
9. Send one of your ministry trainees to serve with them.
10. When you run training workshops for your leaders, invite and include them in those days.
The most important thing is that you don’t impose your plans. This should be about interdependence not dependence -that also means there will be a two way relationship and you will be blessed back.
If you want to know more about partnering with us get in touch via the contact form below or on 07791622122.
Another urban church you may want to consider partnering with is Oldham Bethel in Lancashire. Their pastor, Stephen Kneale has written about how you can partner with them here: