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There is a change occurring globally necessitating a shift in the youth ministry paradigm for Christendom. Many forward thinking ministries have been addressing this challenge, making adjustments and are in the advanced stages of strategic planning. However others find themselves in dire need of accelerated tutoring in order to catch the concepts.

Youth Ministry is experiencing a major shift due to the effects of Global Urbanization. Worldwide we are seeing a phenomenon like never before in history. Youth Ministry has been focused on rural and suburban areas because in many countries that is where the bulk of the students were located . . . Enter Global Urbanization!

Megacities are increasing worldwide.

  • In 1990 there were ten “megacities” with 10 million inhabitants or more, which were home to 153 million people or slightly less than seven percent of the global urban population at that time. (1)
  • As of 2014 there are 28 megacities worldwide, home to 453 million people or about 12% of the world’s urban dwellers. (1)
  • Of today’s 28 megacities, sixteen are located in Asia, four in Latin America, three each in Africa and Europe, and two in Northern America. (1)
  • By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 megacities with 10 million inhabitants or more. (1)

Urban mindset shift is happening worldwide.

  • As of 2008 half of the world’s population is now living in cities. (2)
  • The urban population is growing three times faster than its rural counterpart. (2)
  • By 2030 every five persons will be living in urban areas. (2)
  • The whole range of human experience is shifting from a rural/agrarian civilization to an urban experience mind set. (2)
  • According to a 2005 Christian Century report, one million people worldwide move to cities each week. (2).

Cultural shift requires a proactive urban ministry strategy.

  • Recruiting leaders who understand urban culture or training those who are willing to learn.
  • Helping leaders and churches see Urban ministry as long-term not a drive-by (short-term) investment.
  • Studying the cultural issues faced every day by urban youth and making application.
  • Creating curriculum born out of a true urban understanding.

Who do you know that is on target in this area of ministry? Do you know of any good curriculum or tools to recommend?

Sources:

  1. World’s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas, 10 July 2014, New York: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html
  2. Real Effects of Urbanization & Why Churches Need Outdoor Ministries, Outdoor Leadership, Ashley Denton: http://outdoorleaders.com/real-effects-urbanization-churches-need-outdoor-ministries/

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