More people live in cities now than at any other time in human history, presenting a historic opportunity for Christians to influence the majority of the world. Unfortunately, most Christian literature about the city focuses solely on its problems (crime, homelessness, etc.), rather than providing a comprehensive analysis of the city that informs, instructs, and inspires.
Using sociological research and data, urban pastors Justin Buzzard and Stephen Um lay out the vision and rationale for church planting, cultural engagement, and missionary impulses in our world’s cities as they provide a solid foundation for motivation. Here is a call to make the cities our home, to take good care of them, and to participate in God’s kingdom-building work in the urban centers of our world!
- Cities Matter!
Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church by Stephen T. Um and Justin Buzzard was an excellent book. It challenged many of my preconceived notions concerning cities (specifically that cities are evil) with some very simple Biblical perspectives on cities... In other words, this book made me ask the simple questions, "How does God view cities?" and "How should I view cities?"
The authors started by doing some basic teaching on the direction that cities are taking and the roles they play in our modern world. My eyes were also opened as the authors began to discuss the future of cities, the statistics of the numbers of people who will be living in cities, and exploring the myriad of reasons why people move to cities. As the authors continued with the history of cities, including a Biblical history, I found that my heart began to long for the city that I live in. I know that Danville is not a large city by any stretch of the definition, but it is the city that I reside in... It is the city that is home to people that I love... It is the city where people go to work and play everyday that have destinies and futures that are in jeopardy of God's imminent judgment... It is the city that I have been called to minister to.
Why do cities matter to God? At one point this book simply says, "... because people matter to God and there are people in the city."
I want to recommend this book to everyone that I know, especially to those in ministry in my city, because this book progresses toward teaching us how to know our city. Before I read (listened to) this book, I had never contemplated learning my city, and the impact that knowing the heart of my city might have on how I (or we) minister in our city.
This is a book that I am most definitely going to have to purchase a hard copy, or maybe several hard copies, for my church and for others in my community. We need to know our city, and this book is going to be a great tool in the toolbox.