Although I only met Ray Bakke once at a YWAM urban ministry center in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, his impact on my life has been profound. Even in that gathering, Bakke was casting vision to a new generation of Christians seeking to make a difference in their cities. Thanks to Ray Bakke, the global church is better prepared to engage our ever-more-urban world.
Though we know God is sovereign over the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we can still ask how and why we gather as a church in light of the pandemic. The data listed above shows that, in some sectors, remote life will continue. Should that have any influence on the way the church will gather?
If the work of discipleship that is needed requires a great deal of time in order to build up healthy disciples and healthy churches, what are urban church planters or pastors to do? It can be very discouraging when they imagine the immensity of their task and try to imagine accomplishing it on such limited terms. Many church planters come from very traditional models that put a great deal of emphasis on the big weekly meeting, and it can be difficult to break out of this singular model. If life in your city is as busy as in most major cities in the world, the only solution is to be open to creative possibilities for making good use of the time we have and the time that people are available.
About 40 Christian practitioners and leaders representing a variety of organizations serving refugees, internally displaced peoples, and asylum seekers gathered in one of the most diverse square miles in the continental U.S. April 9th to discuss growing trends in refugees living in cities and how to assist them in whatever stage on the refugee highway they are experiencing.
As I look back on this past year and consider what it means to plant and pastor through the COVID-19 pandemic, what I feel the most is gratefulness. God helped us aim to build something healthy in our church that could outlast pressure.
Sitting on the banks of the Hoogly River, Kolkata is home to approximately 15 million people. Being the major metropolis area of eastern India and the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, Kolkata has seen many immigrants from surrounding states as well as native Bengalis settling here over the years. While having a complicated history, present-day Kolkata is a mixture of its British-influenced past and proud Bengali cultural heritage.
Smoke smoldered from the white smart phone moments after it had been repeatedly smashed with a hammer. The man who had destroyed it swiftly buried it at the side of an ignominious back road of Kaleton, and drove off. That phone represented the last connection Ava had with family back home. She had given it to a friend to destroy so that her husband couldn’t find her or their children, after they had fled her home country.
Berlin, a city of tragic lows, global influence and new beginnings. From the horrors of Hitler and the Nazis, to the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, espionage, prisoner exchanges and the recent refugee crisis, Berlin has often been front and center on the world stage.
There is one missing pearl from the works of Roger S. Greenway that seems to have vanished from existence. We at Radius Global would love to bring it back. As a matter of fact, it is important that we do so. In ‘Calling Our Cities to Christ’, Greenway discusses the role of the local church as the primary space for effective evangelism in the changing neighborhoods of urban areas.
Cities will continue as vital centers of human commerce, social interaction, and innovation. While there is no doubt that the pandemic will alter some aspects of city life, the long-term impact is overstated. We need cities and cities need us.
God loves cities. And if God is the chief builder and architect of the city, then He desires His people to love them as well. Dr. John White, a seasoned professor and missiologist, helps us to grasp this reality by supplying a list of 16 biblical reasons for engaging cities with the gospel.
As it is, poverty is already a debilitating affliction. But when set against a COVID-19-ravaged world, it intensifies the torment to a whole new level. To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented global impact is to state the obvious.
Africa is urbanising faster than any other continent… Cities produce difference—and they accommodate difference. African cities are no exception. They rather seem to accelerate processes of differentiation to a degree that makes it difficult to conceive them as an entity, to understand their social complexities and, not least, to govern them.
Los Angeles, as almost everyone knows, is one of the most diverse and influential cities in the United States, if not the world. It’s a global metroplex that resembles a scene out of Revelation when the Apostle John says we will see people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.” But within the urban sprawl of the City of Angels, nestled behind the Hollywood Sign up against the backside of the Hollywood Hills, is a smaller pocket of about 40,000 people in a neighborhood called Studio City.
There is a direct relationship between a city’s built environment and who benefits from it economically. Our phrasing even betrays this connect: “the bad part of town” or “the other side of the tracks.” Or to put it another way, cities naturally obscure parts of the city that are distressed or neglected.
Nestled in a valley just south of the Himalayas lays a dusty metropolis that conjures up visions of spiritual mystery – Kathmandu, Nepal. About three million people call the Kathmandu Valley home. Though located in one of the poorest countries in the world, Kathmandu’s past and present reveals the resilience of the Nepali people as their identity continues to change.
The city is relatively young, growing from a rural farm community to a boomtown after gold was discovered in 1884. The discovery of gold meant a rapid increase in infrastructure, technology and laborers. Within ten years, a stock exchange was established in Johannesburg, which has made it the key financial center in the country and even the continent.
Founded by the Romans around 47 A.D., London has long been a major world city with connections developed over centuries through international trade and commerce. London was the world’s largest city throughout most of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century and into the 20th century. Today London retains global influence through its financial services […]
The various and diverse listings of cities point to the complexity of urban research. Understanding how each defines “city” and the methodology they use to collect and aggregate data and metrics is critical to any city research and engagement strategy. Following are some of the most common listings. World Urbanization Prospects is a listing of […]
I’m often asked to recommend the best book on cities. As with any worthy subject, one book is not sufficient. Here I want to recommend a few books, or categories of books, that have helped me understand cities and therefore see cities differently.