A City on a Hill: Urban Ministry in the 21st Century


Photo Credit: George Miquilena

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.” – Matthew 5:14

Week 1: Seek the Peace of the City

Week 2: The Sin of Your Sister Sodom

Week 3: God in the Midst of the City


The Christian tradition is filled with imagery involving cities. Much of the Old Testament’s prophetic literature is centered around the city of Jerusalem, where God came to dwell with God’s people, the subsequent pain of exile from the holy city, and the their joy and struggles upon returning. In the Gospels, Jesus and his disciples are always on the go from one city or town to the next, and Paul and the apostles after him take up the same pattern of ministry. In the Book of Revelation, the vision that John sees of a new heaven and a new earth, the final fulfillment of God’s Kingdom, culminates in a city, a new Jerusalem where God and the Lamb dwell forever.

In this issue of Unbound, our authors will explore the city and urban ministry from a variety of perspectives. What is unique about ministry in the context of the city? What does Christian ministry and social witness look like in a place where a variety of cultures, ages, races, religions, and lifestyles intersect? If Jesus calls his Church to be the light of the world – a city on a hill – what are some of the struggles of our present cities communicating to the world? What does it mean to say, as John does in Revelation, that the Kingdom of God looks like a city?

Check back each day for new articles!

The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) is bringing a resolution to the 221st General Assembly (2014) entitled “The Gospel from Detroit: Renewing the Church’s Urban Vision.” Click here to see the full text of that resolution.

Leave a Reply