"…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8 This commandment, given by Christ to his apostles, was one of action. First they were to go into their homes, or Jerusalem, then to their community, or Samaria, and then finally to the ends of the earth. The Christian church of today, however has lost sight of that directive. For too many years now we have sent thousands of missionaries abroad while ignoring the mission field next door. While many may witness in our homes few move out into the community, especially when that community is in an urban area. Joshua 8:7 says "…take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand." Now more than ever this call to "take the city" must followed by believers. The current population of the world is 5,983,000,000 (World POPClock, 1:57 p.m., April 28, 1999). Of those estimated 6 billion people, two thirds of them will be living in cities by the year 2000 (Giradet 1). By ignoring the call to evangelize the cities for Christ, upwards of 4 billion people my be lost.
The shear numbers involved in urban evangelism should serve as all call to arms. The church must be involved in the cities of the world both physically and socially. Amos Howley say's that "Every social act in an exercise of power, every social relationship is a power equation" (Hurst 92) Within that power equation, who better to serve at a catalyst for social action than the creator of power Himself. The Holy Spirit will enable the saint, but to effectively minister in the urban culture one must know the history, understand the lifestyle, and apply cultural relevancy to each and every action.
First, a de...
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Hurst, Charles E. Social Inequality: Forms, Causes and Consequences Boston, MA: Allyn
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Hunter, Mark The Changing Family Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1998
Shults, Thom and Joani Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church: And How to
and How to Fix It Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 1996
The Holy Bible The New International Version Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Tonna, Benjamine A Gospel for the Cities: A Socio-Theology of Urban Ministry New
York: Orbis Books, 1988
Vandermeulen, Arnold J. Skid Row Life Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1956
Wooden, Wayne S. Renegade Kids, Suburban Outlaws: From Youth Culture to
Delinquency New York: Wadsworth Publishing, 1995
U.S. Census Bureau World POPClock Projection http://www.census.gov/cgi-
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