Families: The Hole in Urban Churches

Matt Smethurst

In the past several years there has been very fruitful talk of the importance of cities. Christians are not yet close to matching the pace by which the world is moving into cities, but make no mistake, Christians are urbanizing and migrating.  As believers follow Paul’s footsteps to evangelize the most influential cities in the world, we rejoice. Yet ask any urban pastor or church planter his top five needs and somewhere on that list will be a demographic, a demographic of people for whom the city remains a fearful and inhospitable place: families.

By the time we planted our church in the heart of Montreal, we were already pregnant with our third child (in three years). While neither my husband nor I were raised in the city, our heart for seeing the Great Commission fulfilled and the obvious influence of urban centers compelled us to urban church planting—with our growing family.

The Missing Demographic

Cities naturally draw in young people. Cities are home to the best universities and career opportunities, so professionals and students flock to cities in droves. While the magnetic draw to urban centers is undeniable to most, Christians have been slow to respond and Christian families…

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