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

So you want to do urban mission?

I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be involved in urban mission whether that’s pastoring an established church, working with an existing church to see revitalisation or helping to plant a new church.

There’s so much attention starting to go into how best to serve the Gospel in urban and multi-ethnic contexts and there’s some great people around with lots of experience both of making mistakes and getting things wrong and of seeing God work in the middle of mess to bring blessing and fruit.

So, whether or not you’re just starting out and testing a calling, looking for training and a way in – or you are already engaged in urban ministry, here are some great places to find support and encouragement. Continue reading

Church Planting Maths

One of the great encouragements of Gospel work in the West Midlands has been the 2020 Birmingham partnership.  2020 Birmingham set out in 2010 with the aim of planting 20 churches by 2020. As a church with a small building but a large heart to reach the community around us, we’ve found the advice, support and encouragement of our 2020 partners a big help. 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