9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
Urban practitioners gathered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for the National Urban Ministry Conference. Dr. Harold Shank who gave the keynote on Thursday and Friday challenged us to remember that God can. According to Dr. Shank, “Instead of saying ‘I can’t,’ say ‘He can.’ Instead of looking in, look up.’” In spite of the darkness, sin, and other faults that are clear in the city, we should depend on God because He is already working in the city accomplishing things through ordinary people.
God clearly has a heart for the city. In Jeremiah 29:7 "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Consequently, we define urban ministry as ministry in the city or simply city ministry. This does not negate the need for ministry in rural and suburban communities. God has uniquely gifted some of us to be able to serve effectively in the city.