Jan 28, 2015
neil

3 reasons to be at this conference

What do we need to grasp to be effective ministers of the gospel in a city?

1. Cities are the future

Today for the first time in human history over half of the world’s population live in cities. The UN estimate in World Population Prospects that by 2050 the world will be 68.7 percent urban.

Stephen Um & Justin Buzzard in their book Why Cities Matter write ‘never before have cities been as populated, powerful, and important as they are today. . .cities shape the world because what happens in the cities spreads.’

Copyright Helen Ogbourn

2. Cities never stay the same

Um & Buzzard point out a second feature of cities – the pace of change.  ‘Nothing ever stays the same in cities. There is constant movement.’ A city like Birmingham has changed beyond recognition in the 40 years I have lived here. It looks different, feels different and thinks differently. It takes time, insight and skill to answer the question ‘what do I need to know to most effectively love and communicate Christ to my city both now and for the next 20 years?’

3. Ministry in cities is complex

One final observation worth highlighting from Um & Buzzard, ‘cities are populated with people of various cultures, different worldviews, and different vocations. Cities force individuals to refine their cultural assumptions, religious beliefs, and sense of calling.’

That raises important questions: what is the future of my particular city? What kinds of opportunities does urbanisation present for the gospel? What does it mean for our church to be a church for the city?

Meeting the challenge

If cities are growing in size, power and influence and if cities are always in a flux of change and if cities are ever-more diverse in assumptions and beliefs then the church must come together to face the challenge and to find answers to the issues we face.

2020birmingham will be holding its 2015 annual conference entitled City of the Future on the 10th March here in Birmingham.  And the issues in this post form the heart of our conference agenda. Which ever city you represent why not come along and learn together how better to reach and serve our city now and into the future.

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