The Urban World
For the first time in human history, more than 50% of the earth’s population now lives in cities. At the time of the first World Missions Congress in Edinburgh, 1910, London was the only super city in the world. Only 13% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 1950, 27% of the world’s population lived in cities and 73% in rural areas. 2009 marked the dawn of the urban world, when for the first time in human history, more than 50% of the world’s population lived in cities.
Worldwide cities gain a million people a week. Asian cities are growing twice as fast as cities in the rest of the world. With the impossibility of developing infrastructure as fast as urban population growth many of those newly arrived in cities end up living in slums and shanty towns on the outskirts.
The Urban Mission Fields
The millions of newcomers in burgeoning cities are more open to new ideas, and to change in general, and they greatly need help and support to face the new pressures of city life.
Skills Training and Work Ethic
The reality of urbanization is that many of those who come to the cities are not employed. Churches which minister in cities have tremendous opportunities to reach and teach these first stage urbanization migrants. Providing job training and teaching a Christian work ethic are absolutely vital to fulfilling the Great Commission.
“The workplace is the ideal setting for embodying the Gospel, living a life that reflects grace and truth.”
“The Church has to become alive at the workplace …”
“The Church needs to move from working for a living to breathing God’s life into work.”
“We need to build a work culture that values accountability, responsibility, excellence, team work, and support.”
“Christians need to transform the workplace into an environment for professional excellence.”
“We spend so much time at church praying for the non-Christian whom we avoid every day …”
“Our workplace is the setting in which God displays His glory through our words and deeds.”
“We need to recognise our workplace as a mission field.”
“The calling to secular professions is just as important as the calling to ministry.”
“Why do you pray for kids going on a short term mission trip for two weeks, but not pray for your church members who are working for 20 years in the workplace?”
Dr. Peter Hammond reporting back on presentations and discussions at the Cape Town 2010 Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation.