Everyday People

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

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In the know … a follow up to “The urban forgotten”

I have a friend, they were invited by the local vicar along to church some years back and quickly got very involved. More than that, it is oh so clear that they have had a wonderful encounter with the Gospel. They love Scripture and set aside time each day to read it and pray. There’s only one problem, I don’t think they would really have much awareness about labels like Evangelical, let alone being “Reformed.” Continue reading

The Urban Forgotten

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

Urban Identity and Class Fragmentation

I’ve been starting to put together some thoughts about urban theology and urban missiology over the past year – and part of my plan for a sabbatical in the summer is to give some more time towards this.[1]

Here I want to put out a few thoughts about class and identity. These are not fully formed thoughts or complete answers but hopefully will help move the conversation forward. Continue reading

Who are the working class -and who can reach them?

What exactly do we mean by “working class” and “middle class?” Those are natural and important questions as we talk about how we reach working class communities with the Gospel. 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 Idolatry

It used to be said that pet owners begin to look like their animals. I don’t know if that is really true, however, it has also been said that we (as individuals and as a society) begin to look like and behave like our idols. Continue reading