Getting to know the West Midlands

So, you are thinking about pastoral ministry in an urban area, maybe as a trainee, pastor, church planter or part of a revitalisation team. Where do you start? One thing I would encourage you to do is spend some time getting to know the area, getting a feel for the communities and cultures.  There’s a good role model for this. Paul spent time walking around Athens, observing. Continue reading

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The danger of taking shortcuts in urban mission

I’ve suggested that the first step in “urban mission” is to step into and live in the culture. JH Bavinck writes about this stage in “The Science of Missions”

He is of course writing about traditional cross-cultural mission and he is writing 60 years ago but in that context, he says about the missionary:

“as soon as he sets foot in the place where he is going to work, he must face the question as to how he should approach the people. How must he win their confidence? How can he understand their inner life?” [1]

One of the biggest challenges is that the missionary is so completely different to the people he is going to witness to. Continue reading

The Subversive City

 

We have an inbuilt, deep seated desire to belong.  Humans are social creatures, we look for company, we seek to build partnerships. We are at our best when we work together.  We have a desire to create, to build, to develop and improve. Continue reading

Working class or middle class leaders to reach working class communities?

One suggestion about why we struggle to reach working class communities is that we primarily have middle class leaders of churches, furthermore, we have middle class leaders because we put barriers in the way of working class people becoming leaders because we identify the qualities and training methods associated required for leaders with middle class qualities. Continue reading

Urban mission lessons from the Acts Mission to the Gentiles

This is one of those “What if? Thought exercises” so disclaimers include that it doesnt come with tight exegesis, I am not saying this is how to apply Acts 8-15 and I am not proposing this as a definite strategy. However, our Union Learning Community were discussing how the Gentiles were included in the church and it got me thinking about what this might look like in terms of contemporary urban mission. Continue reading

The Urban Challenge – The Labourers are few

Do you see Urban Britain as a vital missionfield? Regular visitors to this site will realise that we do. If people like William Carey and Hudson Taylor sought to awaken their generations to the needs of world mission then the challenge for our generation  is the missionfield on our own doorstep.

Note, this concern should not come at the expense of other missionfields. Continue reading