According to the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation, in cities we are most likely to find: unreached people (those who are yet to hear the gospel) who have migrated, the poorest of the poor, the next generation of young people and those who are culture shapers.

Might cities offer us the opportunity to meet the world on our doorsteps?


1. Unreached people groups migrate into cities

Cities are places where cultures come together – places of diversity in belief and background. In London there are hundreds of languages spoken every day, including Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Somali, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Nepali.

Many of these languages are spoken by people from nations where there is little or no access to the gospel. In response, OM is reaching out in cities like London and Birmingham by serving communities, building relationships, and contextualising the gospel.

2. Those experiencing destitution often live in cities

Rural to urban migration occurs for a variety of reasons, but for the poorest, push factors include a decline in income from agriculture, poor living conditions and lack of access to services.

Hope of employment and educational opportunities draw people to cities – but they aren’t always met with the better standard of living they expected. Into this context, OM responds to people in crisis situations through the Mercy Appeal.

For example, in 2020 this fund supported subsistence workers in South Asia who were left without employment due to coronavirus lockdowns.

3. Cities are home to the next generation of young people

It is estimated by UN Habitat that as many as 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18 by 2030. What an opportunity this presents to equip the next generation of Jesus followers to live out God’s love!

In a recent opinion piece, Matthew Skirton, UK CEO of OM, described how "we need to inspire [youth] with the knowledge that God is moving... and that they have been gifted with the unique skills and abilities to help reach the millions who have not yet heard the gospel.” (Read more on pages 12-14).

4. Cities draw people who want to shape culture

Universities are places of learning, research, and new ideas – and they are often found in or near cities. Students have the potential to go on to become people who shape the culture of a city or even an entire nation – as politicians, writers, artists and activists.

God has given all of us gifts that He longs for us to use as tools to live out His love. Reaching future culture shapers in cities now could empower them to live missionally, impacting the world around them by doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly in whatever context they might find themselves.

Read inspirational stories of city ministries in the latest issue of the OM Magazine.

Read the OM Magazine online