Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Urban Ministry Conference

I led a church planting track this past weekend at the National Urban Ministry Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Jim Harbin, coordinating director for NUMA lists church planting as one of the eight critical strategies for urban ministries.

Over one hundred and twenty urban ministry workers and volunteers gathered for renewal, worship celebration and discussion on how to serve the cities of America as kingdom people.

Here are three strategic learning points I took away from the conference:

 1.  The "inner city" of the 1960s and 1970s no longer exists. The government tenement blocks are being torn down. The poor are now finding housing in dispersed apartment complexes, often on the outside edges of the central city. This should impact our strategy for model of churches.

2.  Indigenous urban leaders need to be trained in context for effective kingdom leadership. Victory Outreach, for example, seldom sends its church leaders away for training saying it pacifies them for the streets. This should impact our strategy on how to train leaders.

3.  Dan Rodriguez (A Future for the Latino Church) reported on his five year research that most successful Hispanic churches are English language based with a strong salsa (Latino) flavor. This should impact our strategy for Hispanic outreach and ministry.

The National Urban Ministry Association is "an association of incarnational urban ministries and individuals networked together to fulfill the Great Commission through the church."

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