Winter 2015

Next Steps to Care, City by City

If my heart has been stirred, where do I start?

Each of us is at a different place in our understanding of and commitment to urban ministry. But each of us is still at just the right place for mirroring God’s heart and creating opportunities for the gospel to be known there.

If your interest in the city is just being piqued…

  1. Read. A good primer on the city is Why Cities Matter, by Stephen T. Um and Justin Buzzard. See other suggestions below.
  2. Discover. Seek out pastors or leaders engaged in city ministry, buy them lunch and ask questions about their ministry context. Your curiosity will be an encouragement.
  3. Pray. Find something that reminds you of the city and will remind you to pray (e.g. a refrigerator magnet, postcard in your Bible). Ask God to bring workers to the city.
  4. Give. Cities are expensive. Ministry start-ups there come with a financial challenge. Select an urban ministry, then give and pray.

If you’re already engaged in city ministry and desire to go deeper…

  1. Read. Understanding the significance of the gospel in the city is paramount. A good (deeper) read on this is Center Church, by Tim Keller. See other suggestions below.
  2. Learn. Get to know your city, through both research and discussions with civic leaders. Share your impressions with others committed to the same city, and see if you can deepen your understanding together.
  3. Partner. Ask God to connect you with an urban leader and discuss ways to partner together: local service projects, civic meetings, learning together, financially sponsoring an urban initiative.
  4. Pursue. Is God stirring a deeper personal calling to the city? Discuss this with another urban leader. Connect with others in the EFCA for deeper learning about urban ministry: email

If you are deeply immersed in the city, living in the urban context…

  1. Connect. Often, challenges are overwhelming and the learning curve is steep. Band with like-minded urban leaders. Send us an email to connect further:
  2. Keep learning. Cities change rapidly, so urban leaders need to remain students. Keep reading. Consider the books suggested below.
  3. Give. You know all too well that resources in city ministry are limited, so keep on giving to others as well. Perhaps support an urban ministry outside the United States?
  4. Pray. Develop a small band of people to pray regularly for you, pray diligently for more workers and prayer-walk your streets regularly.
  5. Multiply. The vastness of cities require us to think in terms of multiplication not addition: Invest in future leaders, collaborate with others, reinvigorate your commitment to making disciplemakers.