Urban Population

Over the past decade or so missiologists have increasingly noted how important urban centers will be (and to a huge extent already are) for mission. There are many factors as to why this is so – for instance the size, complexity, migration/immigration, ethnocentrism/ethnic diversity, and wealth/poverty that all exist in tension within cities. However one factor that has caught many missiologist’s eyes when it comes to mission to urban centers is the rapid population growth that cities have experienced over the last two hundred years. Note what Scott Sunquist has to say about population growth in cities:

In 1800, only 3 percent of the world’s people lived in urban areas; by 1900 the percentage had grown to 14 percent. Over the next fifty years the number grew to 30 percent. and today it is over 50 percent. Thus most of the people who are in need of Christian mission and ministry lie in urban areas. The growth of the cities, their global influence, and the growing problems these cities are experiencing make them the primary place of missionary outreach.


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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