For the first time ever, more people now live in cities than outside them. Join veteran researcher and missiologist Patrick Johnstone as he explores the fastest growing cities and megacities, showing how Christian workers address people’s spiritual, physical and social needs. Cities offer both big headaches and vast opportunities, and agencies that once focused on rural work are increasingly turning their attention to urban centers. Patrick Johnstone left England’s countryside in 1962 to serve the bustling townships of apartheid-era South Africa. His pioneering urban ministries changed his life.
Journey with Patrick as he shares God’s heart for the city and introduces pastors, missionaries, and community workers who are addressing urbanisation’s key challenges. The book is divided into two sections: a three-chapter introduction meant to focus the reader’s understanding of cities, followed by an eight-chapter manual recommending specific actions for churches, ministries and individuals to take. God has a heart for today’s cities. See how you can join this urgent mission.
‘Patrick Johnstone offers here a good introduction to the importance, nature, and methodology of urban ministry, making his case well without delving too deeply. His conclusion ably unifies the whole. One of the foremost strengths of the work is its balance. He balances generalisations with specific details well and provides enough citations and references without cluttering a work meant to be accessible. Scripture verses are well chosen for emphasising that God loves cities and the people within them, too. His chapters on suggested actions show a balance of meeting individual and immediate needs with fixing systemic and lasting problems. He addresses the need for wisdom and deliberation in offering help without creating dependencies or enabling charlatans. He discusses both international and local work and emphasises the necessity of both. Several times, he addresses oft-cherished Bible quotations in context, clarifying that they are more than the tame little comforts some try to make them. This book would serve well for pastors, church leaders and members, and aid workers trying to understand new opportunities and challenges. I highly recommend it!’ Brian Heffron, Missionary Journalist