Reaching Our Big Cities

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:35-36).

<em>The Economist Pocket World in Figures,</em> 2011 EditionThe year 2008 marked the first time in history that more than half of the world’s population (3.3 billion) lived in cities. By the year 2030, the urban population is expected to swell to 5 billion people, many of whom will be poor. On the continents of Africa and Asia, it is projected that 81 percent of the population will be living in cities.

Ellen White had much to say about the conditions existing in the cities of the world in the last days. She described them as hot beds of crime, vice, and disease, and warned us to move out of them. Yet, she admonished the church that we have a great work to do in the cities.

“Missionaries are needed to spread the light of truth in . . . great cities, and the children of God—those whom He calls the light of the world—ought to be doing all they can in this direction” (Be Like Jesus, page 281).

The concentration of poverty, slum growth, and social disruption on one hand and the accumulation of wealth, greed, and pleasure seeking on the other, paints a dismal picture of our cities; yet the very concentration of souls in confined geographical regions provides the greatest opportunities for the church to establish centers of influence to quickly reach the masses for Christ.


Delbert Pearman

Planning Director, Adventist Mission



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