Church Planting: Suburban vs Urban

Urban church planting is a focus, a needed and neglected emphasis. It is not a more spiritual work than suburban church planting. In some settings urban church planting might be more challenging where there is little gospel presence, where there are fewer Christians to constitute a core group, where there are more livability issues due to crime and poverty, and where there are more economic hardships which lengthen the time for the church plant to achieve sustainability. Of course there are suburban situations which are similar to this but a greater concentration of these challenges exist in urban areas.


Generally speaking, urban church plants will remain in a “mission” phase longer than suburban church plants. This depends partly on the region and model of church planting, whether there is a significant core group, or whether Christians are “borrowed” or “attracted” from and at the expense of other churches. Urban church plants will likely face greater obstacles in obtaining adequate meeting space and many church planters will need to be bi-vocational. 


Urban churches hope to enjoy fellowship in and furtherance of the gospel with suburban churches. All suburban churches are not wealthy. All urban churches are not poor. But on balance greater resources are found in suburban churches. Genuine partnership is not only about money. Yet without investing resources in church planting there’s nothing genuine about it. However, as important as material resources are, church planting is not primarily about them. It is about God and what He is doing in lives.    


One Response to “Church Planting: Suburban vs Urban”

  1. Not quite sure why this is even an issue between Christians. If you are where God wants you and have the opportunity to minister with other believers why not use that to forward the Gospel whether it be urban or suburban. Aren't we all on the same side? I like to think of it this way. One day we will all stand before the Lord and all realize we all had it wrong :). (<—being somewhat sarcastic) So why not work together?

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