Mission to the Cities is the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s five-year emphasis on sharing Jesus’ love and the hope of His soon return with people in some of world’s largest cities. Please pray for Mission to the Cities and check back here to find resources and the latest information about Mission to the Cities.
- to create awareness about the need to present the good news of salvation through a comprehensive approach to urban evangelism.
- to share general strategies for urban evangelism
- to report creative and innovative strategies of reaching the cities
- to provide resources to facilitate local churches to become centers of discipleship and training
Vision to provide resources and information regarding the Mission to the Cities initiative.
The world’s cities present a formidable challenge for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities with approximately 200,000 people moving from rural communities to urban communities every day, globally. This is around 70 million per year, or 130 every minute.
“In 2008, for the first time, the world’s population was evenly split between urban and rural areas.” “Fewer than 30% of the world’s 2.5 billion people lived in cities in 1950. By 2050 almost 70% of the world’s estimated 10 billion people will do so according to the United Nations.” (Christianity Today, Urban Urgency, August, 2010)
For decades faithful Seventh-day Adventists have been living in and effectively sharing their faith in many of the world’s great cities. This “Mission to the Cities” initiative strongly affirms the work that these consecrated administrators, pastors, and lay people have done and are doing for Christ in urban areas.
Jesus loves cities because He loves people and cities are where most people live. The Gospels describe Jesus’ relentless passion to reach people living in the cities of His day.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
Then He said to His disciples, “the harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few, therefore pray the Lord of harvest to send laborers into His harvest.” (Matt 9:35-38)
Underlying Jesus’ evangelistic strategy to reach the multitudes was caring compassion. What He taught He lived. Christ’s method was simply meeting needs in the Father’s name and sharing the Father’s love and truth in a broken, hurting first century world. (MH 143) His first Century strategy has not changed in the 21stCentury.
The Holy Spirit moved repeatedly upon Ellen G White’s mind regarding the need to develop broad, visionary plans to reach the teeming multitudes living in the cities. Here are two of her most significant statements regarding our work in the cities.
“There is no change in the messages that God has sent in the past. The work in the cities is the essential work for this time. When the cities are worked as God would have them, the result will be the setting in operation of a mighty movement such as we have not yet witnessed.”—MM 304
IMPLEMENTING DIVINE COUNSEL: THE PLAN
This plan envisions comprehensive evangelism initiatives in over 650 of the world’s major cities from 2012-2015 beginning in New York City. Why New York? It is one of the most populous and influential centers in the world. The New York City Metropolitan Area’s population is the United States’ largest, estimated at nearly 19 million people distributed over 6,720 square miles. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. It is the home of the United Nations. The nations of the world look to and are represented in New York City. If we reach the people of New York we reach the cultures of the world.
Speaking of New York City, the messenger of the Lord declares, “This work should be continued in the power of the same Spirit that led to its establishment. Those who bear the burden of the work in Greater New York should have the help of the best workers that can be secured. Here let a center for God’s work be made, and let all that is done be a symbol of the work the Lord desires to see done in the world.”—7T 137