We are called to get the gospel to all peoples of the world (Matt. 28:18-20), and we will not do that if we shy away from the world’s cities. Please read on even if you’re not interested in urban settings, and pray about how your church might tackle a city (then come back tomorrow to hear my thoughts about rural areas and churches).
- The smallest church can reach out to a city. To be honest, it’s simple—find a ministry in a city, and partner with them. Whether your church is itself urban or rural, with 10 members or 10,000, you can do something in the city.
- People are in the cities. The world has been more urban than rural for at least nine years now. The 10 most populated cities in the U.S. have a combined 25 million people in the actual city boundaries. The church needs to be where people are.
- Evangelicals aren’t always in our cities. Though this picture is rightly changing, evangelicals have not been strong in cities. Gospel-witness voids still remain.
- The nations are in the cities. I’ve been with Hispanics in South Asia and Europeans in Southeast Asia. If we want to reach the world’s people groups, the city is the place to go.
- World influencers are in the city. Think about the potential of influencing the world if we reach leaders in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo or Mumbai. The worlds of the arts, literature, politics, sports, media, etc. are there.
- The needy are in the city. The combined stresses of poverty and urban life often threaten families, foster division and invite crime. The church has the answer to all of these issues—if the church is there.
- Job opportunities are often there. That’s not to say that everyone will find a job, but the sheer size of cities often provides employment opportunities. Believers can move to cities to be a light in the darkness, trusting that finding a job will not be an impossibility.
- Reaching the city requires partnerships. City reaching requires us to push beyond our differences to work together. That unity is what Jesus prayed for in John 17, and it wouldn’t hurt us to work together for the Great Commission task.
- The job is too big for us. Only God knows how to reach 21 million+ in greater New York or the 37 million+ in Tokyo, and He requires us to seek Him and His wisdom. If the city drives us to our knees, that’s a good place to be.
What other reasons would you add?
This article originally appeared here.