Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City  the People of God, By Harvie M. Conn and Manuel Ortiz

Urban Ministry

The Kingdom, the City the People of God

by Harvie M. Conn and Manuel Ortiz

Urban Ministry
  • Length: 527 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: February 12, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 3870
  • ISBN: 9780830838707

*affiliate partner

No. 3 in the Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books of the Year

The city presents serious challenges that cry out for answers: poverty, racism, human exploitation and government corruption. How can the church move ahead in the midst of these demands with the gospel of hope?

Here, in one comprehensive volume, Harvie Conn and Manuel Ortiz, two noted scholars and proven practitioners of urban ministry, address the vital work of the church in the city. Their dual goal: to understand the city and God's work in it.

Through four great waves of development, Conn and Ortiz trace the history of the city around the world. Then they tackle the critical issue of a biblical basis for urban mission. How does the Bible view the city? Are we closer to God in the country than the city? Does the Bible have an anti-urban bias? These questions are given a thorough analysis that unveils God's urban mandate as reflected in both Old and New Testaments.

From this foundation the authors unpack the multifaceted nature of the city as place, as process, as center, as power, and as a place of change and stability. They move us beyond fragmented stereotypes to a new way of seeing that is holistic enough for a fully biblical ministry to develop.

In addition, Conn and Ortiz lay out what the social sciences have to offer urban mission, including ethnographic and demographic studies and they focus on the particular issues and needs of urban leadership, including a plan for developing and mentoring leaders while equipping the laity for ministry in the city.

This is the essential text for bringing God's kingdom to the city through the people of God. Now in paperback!

"Urban Ministry . . . is a pivotal resource for those interested in understanding God's perspective on ministering within urban contexts of the 21st century."

Ken Castor, The Journal of Youth Ministry, Fall 2011

"As a refreshingly exhaustive, provacative, relevant, and practical opus, though, Urban Ministry will serve many current and future urban church workers quite well as both a textbook and a reference book for grappling with the various complexities of and ripe opportunities for ministry in twenty-first century urban contexts."

Dien Ashley Taylor, Concordia Theological Quarterly 74 (2010)

"Conn and Ortiz in Urban Ministry set out with the goal to understand the city and God's work in it. They undertake this task with a thorough examination of the urban milieu historically, psychologically, sociologically, ethnographically, demographically, and biblically. Not being an Evangelical, I still highly recommend that every Christian who is involved or interested in urban ministry read this book."

Frank Mills, Borderlands Review, (frankamills.com), October 2008



Part One: The City: Past Present
1. From the Present to the Past
2. Into the Industrial Age
3. The Fourth Great Urban Wave

Part Two: Biblical Perspectives
4. God the Old Testament City: Love or Hate?
5. Temptation Testing, Promise Fulfillment
6. Jesus, the Spirit the Church
7. A New Lord, a New People, a New World

Part Three: Understanding the City
8. Place, Process Misperception
9. Religion in the City
10. The City as Power
11. The City as Center
12. Urban Constancy Change
13. The Contemporary Church Responds

Part Four: Developing Urban Church Growth Eyes
14. The Social Sciences Mission
15. Ethnographic Studies Mission
16. Demographic Studies Mission

Part Five: Promoting Kingdom Signs in the City
17. Reachable People Groups the City
18. Shalom Social Transformation
19. Spiritual Warfare in the City

Part Six: Leadership Discipleship for the Urban Church
20. Contextual Traits of Urban Leadership
21. Selecting Candidates for Urban Leadership Development
22. Curriculum for Developing Urban Leaders
23. Mentoring the Urban Leader
24. Equipping the Laity for Urban Ministry

Works Cited



You May Also Like

Harvie M. Conn

Harvie M. Conn was emeritus professor of missions at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before his death in 1999. He was for ten years editor of Urban Mission. He also wrote Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace and Eternal Word and Changing Worlds.

Manuel Ortiz

Manuel Ortiz (1938–2017) was professor of ministry and urban mission and director of the urban program at Westminster Theological Seminary. His books include The Hispanic Challenge: Opportunities Confronting the Church, One New People: Models for Developing a Multiethnic Church, and Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City and the People of God (coauthored with Harvie Conn). Ortiz was passionate about integrating urban ministry, education, and the gospel, and he spoke and consulted around the nation. For fourteen years he ministered to Hispanics in Chicago, founding five urban congregations, two elementary schools, and an extension school for theological education. He was also the founder and senior pastor of Spirit and Truth Fellowship (Christian Reformed Church), a multiethnic congregation in Philadelphia, and the codirector of the CRC Philadelphia Initiative for Church Planting.