Urban Christian ministries are stressing intercessory prayer meetings while using the creative arts to reach out to city-dwellers, reports the evangelical digest Current Thoughts & Trends (November).
Even before new ministries are being launched, churches involved in urban outreach are holding regular prayer meetings on behalf of problems in their neighborhoods. Brian Bakke of the Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago writes that another characteristic of effective urban ministries is endurance. These ministries have to be willing to “negotiate time, but not the vision,” sometimes waiting years before change and success is detected.
Urban ministries hoping to make an impact upon their neighborhoods are using art to communicate the Christian message without being offensive, Bakke writes. This approach sees the importance of “nuance, subtleties, and excellence in presentation.” But Bakke adds that “Yet so many pastors, in an effort to present the gospel through artistic performance, compromise on quality and thereby insult their audience.” He writes that these trends are in evidence in the Christian Community Development Association, a national umbrella organization for urban ministries.
(Current Thoughts & Trends, P.O. Box 35004, Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3504)