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

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The urban challenge – urban mobility

One of the challenges of urban ministry is the mobility of people coming into and then leaving a community. It means that someone may turn up  and be around for a couple of weeks, couple of months or couple of years. Continue reading

Music, Culture and Church – a postscript

Here are some further thoughts and clarifications (as much to my own thinking as anything). Stephen Kneale has posted here a response. There are some useful points in there and I’ll come to them in a second. The article if it is a response seems primarily to focus on the spirit of this point from my earlier article “But overall, what we sing in church seems along way away from what people are listening to outside.”  Stephen’s response is:

  1. That our primary focus with congregational singing should be whether or not something is appropriate in terms of is it singable and because they help us to remember the truths contained.
  2. That we should not assume that rap reflects all urban contexts.
  3. That if music is not culturally neutral then we have to consider whether or not the background and associations of a genre bring other connotations into church life.
  4. That there are a whole host of other preferences that have not been considered.

Continue reading

Music, culture and urban church

This week a couple of rappers have caught my attention.  First there was this by Flame drawn to our attention after a Learning Community discussion on contextualisation.  Then there was John Piper’s comments on Lacrae which we picked up on here.

I want to just pick up on one or two (not completely connected) thoughts that struck me. Continue reading

Why we celebrate Harvest in the city

Today at 10:30am we will celebrate Harvest Festival. It will have, by our standards, a traditional feel. There will be the time honoured Harvest hymns including We plough the fields and Come ye thankful come. Then during the service, people will be able to bring gifts of food which will be gathered together. Continue reading

Why we need urban theology and urban theologians

I am usually cautious about adding prefixes to the word theology apart from  the normal classifications: biblical, systematic, historical and pastoral. That’s because theology is simply about knowing God through his own revelation and so there is the risk that if I add a prefix based on class, culture or gender I imply that those things will lead me to a different knowledge of Him and his revelation. Certainly, that is what is implicit when people talk about feminist or LBGT theology. The risk is also that I look to God, revelation and theology as something I can employ for my own ends in the particular battle I am fighting.[1]

Continue reading

Why students should join estate and inner city churches

In our last post on urban mission we saw that urban church planting will often need 1 or 2 missionaries for the long haul and an expectation that most workers will be indigenous from the community. Continue reading