Reforming church, culture and our city

Reforming church, culture and our city

Rethinking the face of the unchurched

with 3 comments

Stetzer in his book on Breaking The Missional Code has some useful thoughts on how we can be thinking missionally in reaching the unchurched. It’s important to realize that our culture and the landscape of our cities have changed. Thinking missionally begins when we ask, ‘What is the profile of the people we are trying to reach?

Firstly, we need to understand who are the unchurched in our city? What do they look like in our city, schools, universities and marketplace?

  • If you’re a worker in the marketplace, what is the face of the unchurched? The same holds true if you’re a student or parent.
  • What are the religious backgrounds of the unchurched around you?
  • What are the questions the unreached around you are asking?
  • How do the unreached around you understand spirituality, God, church?
  • What do unreached around you do in their spare time?

Did you know that in our city, there are 70,000 Hindu’s, 161,000 Muslims, 153,000 Buddhist, 1.2 million Roman Catholics, 600,000 who have no religion, and 428,000 who remain unstated?

Secondly, we need to understand the changing ethnic face of our city. The ethnic diversity of our city now means that there isn’t a homonogeous cultural group across our city. There is no longer one culture in our city, and every culture needs to be exegeted for the gospel. Thinking missionally means:

  1. Understanding people groups we are reaching or might want to reach i.e. the ethic composition of your locality and their movements in our city. The ABS 2006 Census information is a useful resource
  2. Understanding population segments of the people we might want to reach i.e. common experiences that binds people together in our city. E.g. second generation ABC’s, factory workers, restaurant workers, North Shore professionals, victims of crime, single mum’s with young children etc. These are the tribes in our city that we might want to reach or are already reaching through our existing churches.
  3. Understanding cultural environments of the people we might want to reach, because people are not just bound by their language and common experience, but by their geographical environment which often brings them together. E.g. apartments in Balmain housing Sydney university Mandarin students, Korean professional families living in Newington, Sri Lankan’s in Wentworthville etc.

Written by eugenehor

August 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Euge, did you read Tim Keller’s theology of the city? With everyone calling us to get out of Sydney its interesting to see the reverse in the US from the likes of Keller and Driscoll.


    August 4, 2008 at 7:12 am

  2. Totally agree with Keller – you should check out his articles on a city strategy of church planting – see the link’s on the right for Tim Keller resources. Part of the problem is people’s lack of understanding of history and the growth of Christianity (from urban outwards). 2 books I recommend that church planters and pastors in our city should read are – Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became An Urban Movement and Conquered Rome by Rodney Stark, and Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, The City & The People of God by Harvie Conn & Manuel Ortiz


    August 4, 2008 at 7:41 am

  3. Understanding Culture environments when tackling the concept of Evangelism is key and I appreciate you touching on this because I feel it is often overlooked. I speak to this in relation to how it affects the Youth at


    September 3, 2008 at 3:34 am

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