September 18, 2019
Challenges in Urban Church Planting
By New Churches Team
Urban Church Planting
When it comes to planting a church in an urban setting, there are a few unique challenges.
- The cost of doing ministry in an urban setting is higher and the income is lower. You cannot have the expectation that the church will be self-supporting from tithes and offerings within a few years.
- You have to use different metrics when measuring missional progress. Less people are looking for a church, so the results aren’t the same. You cannot compare yourself to a suburban church.
- Every island in a city has developed it’s own culture. Suburbs are like a standard mall – they all look the same once you are inside them. Urban neighborhoods are more like local shops that all have their own unique flavor.
- The prework that needs to be done is much longer than in a suburban setting. You need to take time to exegete the culture and then let your church planting model by guided by the neighborhood.
- By nature, the city is a transient environment. People come into the city to work or play, and then head back to the suburbs. And those who are living in the city typically only stay 2-3 years. It is more like a campus ministry where the turnover rate is high.
- Cities are more diverse in many ways, including ethnicity and economics. You have to think about how you serve different kinds of people and help them follow Jesus together just like they live life together.
In most church contexts, discipleship begins after someone has become a Christ-follower. We offer classes and encourage them to make more disciples who make disciples. But in the city, if you try to make disciples that way it won’t work.
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