Urban Mission​




Traditionally, whenever you mention the term “missions” from a Christian perspective, it means traveling on a journey in a far remotes parts of the country to witness Christ’s gospel with mostly the unreached people/groups (Those who have never heard the gospel) or marginalized people/groups in terms of geographical location (Harsh climatic conditions, uneducated), etc. Averagely, 78% of missionary activities today are taking place among the Christianized or semi-Christianized communities, with 98% of both financial and financial resources spent on inward Church activities.  

Urban Mission misconceptions: 

Over the years, the urban church has been actively reaching out to the rural areas without having any tangible plans on how to embrace the reality of rural-urban movements. The urban church has also failed to tap into emerging global trends that seem to be both transcultural, driven by technology and social media. These transcultural and technological trends have a huge impact on the mission of the church, depending on how the church responds. 

What the church seems not to appreciate is that urbanization trends are pulling millions of people every year around the world from rural-upcountry villages to towns and cities. The current demographics show that for the first time, over 50% of the world population now live in towns and cities of the world. Must of this rapid urban growth is taking place in Africa where rural-urban migration is on the increase, and it is anticipated that three of every five people will be living in the urban areas. United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects, the 1996 Revision (New York: United Nations, 1998). 

It is essential, therefore, to accept the fact that the World’s Population Living in Cities Missions during the twenty-first century must face the fact that the majority of the world’s population increase will be living in cities. Cities are to be the target of mission penetration not only because most ethnic groups once residing in rural areas now have representatives in cities. They are to be the target also because cities contain many social groups that have not yet been reached with the gospel. Furthermore, cities are centers of dominance and therefore are the pace-setters for a society. If numerous groups in the large cities of the world receive the gospel, the good news of God’s salvation may then spread from city to hinterland, just as it did in New Testament times. (Monsma 2000, 20).

It is important to observe that in some parts of Africa, urbanization is now unstoppable. It is a new order reality that both African governments and the church need to come to terms with and begin to engage. I can even dare say that some countries like Kenya and Uganda are late.  

What are the benefits of engaging in Urban Mission?

  1. The church has been called to reach out and make disciples of all nations. The fact is that all nations are in the cities of the world.
  2. With effective urban mission strategies, the church is in a better position to embrace and nurture those migrating from rural villages to cities.
  3. Towns and cities, both national and global centres of influence. An effective mission will require that the urban church remain open to learning new mission trends with the intention to influencing the world from 
  4. By engaging in urban mission, the church automatically transforms urban spaces to become mission centers to the rest of the world.
  5. Towns and cities have a significant influence on the social life of a nation, impacting even rural villages. If the church fails to influence towns and cities, secular trends emerging from cities will sweep over rural villages.
  6. Towns and cities host important institutions like schools and universities, hospitals, security forces, government offices, business, among many others. Failure to have effective missionary work targeting all these institutions means abandoning the whole society to secular trends.
  7. Towns and cities are the hubs and epicenters of economic power. Urban mission oriented church must develop appropriate contextual missionary strategies to tap into urban economy,
  8. Towns and cities are run with systems and structures that sometimes can be anti-church. The church in the urban world must collaborate with political and civil leaders to protect its interests.
  9. The most important benefit is that a missionary-minded church seizes opportunities to plant as many churches in an urban world capitalizing on the intensity of populations as opposed to rural villages where populations are disbursed and scattered.
  10. A missionary-minded church in an urban world invests a lot to children and youth ministries as they define the next urban generation.

What are the challenges of failing to develop appropriate urban mission strategies?

  1. The church loses touch with growing urban dynamics and becomes irrelevant.
  2. Those moving from rural to urban world are swallowed by urban secular system, thus making the church lose on both fronts, rural and urban.
  3. The urban world is defined by other spiritualties like other religions, African fetish and witchcraft etc. 
  4. The church loses its moral and spiritual authority to guide the nation prophetically.
  5. The urban church becomes economically weak due to lack of winning people who are a major economic resource for mission.

Urban Mission course:

Anglican Mission Africa (AMA) has designed an Urban Mission orientation course for Dioceses that are interested in exploring effective missionary strategies in the urban world. Urban Mission Orientation Course is Biblically Authentic and Christocentric with the deposit in Missionary theology.

Please write to us and we shall get in touch.