We have opportunities for people to train with us in urban mission and church planting. We are looking for individuals and couples who believe that they have a calling to share the good news about Jesus in our urban communities with a particular focus on estate and inner city ministry. Continue reading
We are offering training opportunities to people who are seriously investigating a calling to urban mission – i.e. Church Planting and/or church revitalisation in inner city and estate contexts. Our own immediate concern is to encourage church planting and revitalisation in the urban West Midlands (especially, Sandwell, West Birmingham and the Black Country). However, we also would love to see people going on to pastoral ministry in other contexts (we have already see one trainee, Hannes return to Austria as an associate pastor).
Training with us will include:
Training in Theology, Pastoral Counselling and Bible teaching. This will be through: Continue reading
Just to be clear, we are not looking for pastors to come and look after new, ready made churches with 30 – 50 members. We are not even looking for team leaders to take charge of a core group ready to start the plant. Continue reading
Among the conversations about mission and particularly urban mission I’ve picked up on a tendency to polarise mission fields. We seem to talk in terms of two mission fields
1. Prosperous/well to do contexts where people are aiming to evangelise the elite as some kind of strategy in the hope that they will be reaching current and future leaders/ opinion shapers through camps, CUs etc
In order to encourage church planting in Sandwell and West Birmingham, we are asking people to come as pioneer planters/ missionaries to work in the area. What sorts of people are we looking for? Continue reading
We are committed to training people for urban mission. A significant part of that training includes practical experience of Gospel ministry but it also includes a lot of “Theology.”
Now, “Theology” at times has had a bad reputation. It can be a bit of a dirty word, especially amongst those who see the urgency of the mission and get frustrated by those who seem to be bogged down in the theory.
Theology is often associated with academia. It is seen as remote, cerebral and out of touch. It has often been linked to liberalism and the denial of Scripture’s authority and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, theology, properly speaking and done properly is the planter and the preacher’s best friend. Indeed, no-one should be preaching without taking time to study some theology. Those seem like strong words, so why do I say them? Continue reading
A few days back I wrote about the fragmentation of the working classes. I want to pick up on that and focus on one group because I think it has important implications for how we approach urban mission.
Urban Mission is a broad church. The City to City initiative considers itself urban. There is a lot of attention in reaching millennial sceptics, students, graduates and city centre workers. That’s brilliant, however, it’s not primarily what we have in mind when we talk about urban church. Rather, we are thinking about our inner cities (un-gentrified) and council estates. Now, I think the temptation is to have one aspect of this in view and it distorts our vision. We recognise ( though admittedly not enough) that there is a group of people that have been left behind, those devastated by gang and drug culture, those suffering from intense levels of deprivation. We then imagine a particular type of worker who can reach such people, one or two of them exist, they are often robust and charismatic, they need to be. We make that the image of our ideal urban worker, we assume most people don’t fit that mould ( they don’t) and we think that by giving them an occasional platform that we are doing our bit. Continue reading