Urbanization is the reality driving most of the changes in our world. Around the globe, more people live in cities than in rural areas. In 1850 there was only one city on earth that had a population greater than one million. Today there are nearly 400. Edward Dayton in Unreached Peoples says that American churches annually are losing 2.8 million people to nominalism or unbelief. In the 1990s, the number of Americans who say they have no religion rose from 14.3 million to 29.4 million.
With America 80 percent urbanized, it is clear that the Adventist Church must focus on the challenge of soul-winning in cities. I urge you to join in the upcoming Urban Ministry Congress on July 22-27.
At the Urban Ministry Congress the Center for Creative Ministry will be releasing Ministry in Metropolis: The Adventist movement in an urban world.
In the first chapter, author Monte Sahlin lays out a vision for the cities that dates back a century, “The urban population of America today is five times greater than it was in 1910 when Ellen White wrote, ‘The work in the cities is the essential work for this time. When the cities are worked as God would have them, the results will be the setting in operation of a might movement such as we have not yet witnessed.’ (Letter 46, 1910). . . ‘The message that I am bidden to bear to our people. . . Work the cities without delay. . . The Lord has kept this work before us. . .I am carrying a burden day and night, because so little is being accomplished.’ She expressed concern that urban ministry was ‘becoming more and more difficult. It is essential that new and varied talents unit in . . .intelligent labor for the people. If the burden of these unworked cities rested upon the hearts of our people as it should, they would arouse to labor as they have not yet done. . . ’ (Letter 168, 1909) Just as Ellen White predicted, metro ministry has become more difficult and the needs of those living in the cities much greater. . . .”
INNOVATIONewsletter, May 30, 2007, The Center for Creative Ministry