Stephen Um on Cities, Suburbs & Countrysides


Redeemer City to City has the first in a series of posts from Stephen Um in which he considers how city-ministry enthusiasts and those who have been called to rural or suburban areas can set aside charged language and unhelpful dichotomies in favor of collaboration. Here’s an excerpt from “On Cities, Suburbs, and Countrysides”:

Many of those who serve in suburban and rural places have a right to be at least mildly offended by the way that the discussions surrounding urban mission have sometimes developed. There have been times when those with a heart for the city have spoken in a triumphalistic, cavalier manner—as though urban centers were the only legitimate place that God might call individuals to proclaim the gospel. This problem is particularly prominent among young leaders who, in their zeal to bring the gospel to the city, have sometimes over-inflated their own ministerial calling and, in the process, deflated the call that others have received to rural and suburban places.

Because this has been the case, city-ministry enthusiasts must be increasingly thoughtful about the ways in which we frame our urban emphasis. Though we believe that major shifts in urban migration patterns demand an intentional response, we must never underestimate the essential and innovative work that God is doing through many in non-urban settings. Let us find ways to be pro-city without coming off as anti-suburban.

You can read the rest of the post here.