As an urban church leader, have you ever felt frustrated by...
- how few spiritual leaders have grown up from within your urban
- how little long-term fruit your discipleship efforts seem to bear?
- financial demands bigger than your people can meet, so that needs go
unmet or else you remain dependent on outside support?
- a constant challenge just to maintain so that dreams of multiplying
ministry seem out of reach?
Could it be that the main reason so many urban churches struggle is not
because it's harder for churches to do well in poor neighborhoods, but
because our usual ways of doing church don't transplant well into urban
"In one year
our church made more progress in developing leaders from our urban neighborhood
than during the previous twenty years combined." |
Dennis Hesselbarth, Senior Pastor
Hilltop Urban Church
In the U.S. and Canada, we have often burdened David with Saul's armor
by importing middle-class ways of doing church into low-income
A middle-class model of church requires:
- Money. Lots of funds for buildings and professional staff.
- Organizational abilities. Experience in managing institutions and
- Academic skills. Ability to teach and learn using primarily an
academic (reading/writing-based) approach.
Five Smooth Stones
The mission of Cities on Hilltops is to help urban churches trade in
the heavy burden of Saul's institutional armor for the five smooth stones
of simple Christian community so they can become healthier,
self-supporting, and reproducing.
| From Saul's Armor|
Five smooth stones
|Recruiting leaders |
Cities on Hilltops helps urban church leaders navigate these culture
changes by mastering oral-culture* strategies of discipleship, leadership
development, and organization which are far more effective in urban
churches than the more familiar print-culture* methods.
* By print culture we mean a culture in which reading and
writing are central to the learning process. Oral culture refers to a
culture in which the preferred methods of communicating and learning are
oral, even if many members of the culture read and