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ic space. Urban centers have always been hubs for culture. Now, they are hubs for a spectrum of cultures, all overlapping one another. To understand the new urban, think in dynamic layers of people, cultures and religions. This reality means new responsibilities for local churches. Christ followers are called to go and make disciples. The Great Commission sends Christians to all places and all peoples. The Apostle Paul did not discriminate against cities. His missionary journeys landed him in the biggest cit-

ies in the world during his day, and he spent time there. In Ephesus, a major urban center of its day, Paul spent several years living there and sharing regularly with the Ephesian people. Acts tells of the impact this had on the entire region of Asia. Paul first took the church to the cities, and few places are as strategic for that mission today. Today’s leaders need to thoughtfully consider how churches enter into the new urban. Local churches must learn to witness from within the urban centers. This means more than field trips by residing

and abiding in the heart of the city through planting churches. The cities need a gospel witness to share the love and hope of Christ. Looking in from the outside simply will not transform these lost communities. Is everyone called to sell their house and move into the city? No. But Christ compels Christians to the cities, and that means some of people must go. The church is called to the nations, and the nations have come to us. Perhaps it is time we tear down our picket fences and meet our new neighbors.

An initiative of the Center for Great Commission Studies To learn more, visit

An Increasingly Urban World 100%

Tokyo - 38 million 1/8 live in a city > 10 million 1/2 Live in a city < 500,000


McAllen, TX

Las Vegas



Projected 2010-2030


Global Urban Population

Fastest Growing US Cities #1 Charlotte - 71% #2 Raleigh - 71%

World’s Largest Cities 38


Shanghai Mexico City Mumbai Sao Paulo

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