Journey into urban mission (part 2: My story with some observations)

Dave preaching at Bearwood Chapel

I grew up in Bradford West Yorkshire. I wasn’t an estate kid, the small cluster of owner-occupied houses where I grew up were nestled in between the large estates that dominate South Bradford. I went to the local comprehensive. The school was about 50% white working class and 50% Asian predominantly Muslim. Continue reading

Journey into urban mission (part 1)

Last week the Bishop of Burnley challenged visitors to the New Wine festival about mission to the poor. His charge was that the church had forgotten the poor and that event the recent upturn in church planting was primarily in student and wealthy areas. Continue reading

What does urban mission and ministry actually mean?

What do we mean when we talk about urban ministry?  When we talk about an “Urban area” at its simplest, we are distinguishing between urban and rural -between built up, heavily populated areas, towns, cities, conurbations and less densely populated areas, villages, hamlets etc. There is of course the “suburban” category used to identify outlying, reasonably prosperous suburbs of towns and cities. Continue reading

Urban Mobility

A speaker at our CPI Urban Midlands Hub recently touched on the challenged of mobility amongst urban communities. They commented that at one point they were part of a church where they said that every year they had to grow by 30% to stay the same size. In other words, they saw about 1/3 of the congregation move on every year. Continue reading

Singing in the midst of suffering (2) How do I stop from seeking revenge?

So, Revelation 15-16 means I can sing now instead of seeking revenge. How do I do this?  Here are a few suggestions I hope you will find helpful. Continue reading

Singing in the midst of suffering – the reality for urban churches

On Sunday, we looked at Revelation 15-16 and we saw that God’s people are seen here singing, even though they have been suffering terrible persecution and living in a world under judgement. Our main application was that we could “sing even when suffering.”  By this we did not merely mean the ability to join in on a Sunday but singing as representing an expression of joy, trust and hope in the Lord throughout the work demonstrated by how we act and what we say, particularly about the gospel.

We noted two challenges to this:

1.       It may seem easier for those who have already come through the other side to “sing” than for those of us still in the midst of life’s troubles

2.       It is hard to have that sense of joy and hope when what we want to do is seek vengeance for what others have done.

Now, let’s be blunt, the second item is not trivial or light. I realise that when I preach a message of this kind there are people who will have experienced deep and painful suffering and abuse. A congregation may include: Continue reading