A new generation of church founders believes that city centers will be the beachhead of a new evangelization. While U.S. cities aren't growing as fast as overseas metropolises like Lagos or Shanghai, their renaissance since the crime-ridden 1970s is one of the cultural headlines of the last generation, and it has been accompanied by burgeoning urban congregations. On a Sunday morning in any American city the signs of change come in literal form: placards on sidewalks and corners announcing church meetings.
Growing even faster than city-center churches are immigrant churches in places like Los Angeles and Brooklyn that serve new arrivals from all over the world. And urban ministry, targeted at the physical and social needs of residents (housing, recreation space, education and the like) has been an emphasis of U.S. churchesâboth Protestant and Catholic alikeâfor generations.
Gil Rugh wrote: It would be great to have a better society with less social problems. However, we must be wise and not diffuse our strength by addressing only the symptoms and miss fixing the real problem. The real problem is that people are sinners who need the Savior!
We have been entrusted with the 'cure' for social ills. We know that when a person is transformed on the inside, the change is permanent. Any other cure is at best temporary, superficial and illusionary.