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Our urban voices

Presenting Christian narratives through diverse voices that impact urban ministry.

Dr. Dru Johnson explores the inescapable impact of ordinary and extraordinary routines. With examples ranging from tooth brushing to baptism, he encourages everyone to “examine our ritual lives.” Those examinations can deepen our understanding about the traditions that define life and religion — the ways in which individuals and communities are different and similar. In particular, Christians can benefit from understanding the rituals and practices of other religions because it helps us to know what they value and how they think about themselves. What You’ll Learn: Where to find rituals in everyday life The importance of identifying why rituals are…
Elli Oswald reconsiders the best ways American churches can serve some of the world’s most vulnerable children and honor them as image bearers of God. Through the Faith to Action Initiative, she advocates for systemic changes that would make orphanages obsolete around the globe. What You’ll Learn : The Research about Orphanages, Family-Based Care and Child Development The Risks Involved with Mission Trips to Orphanages How Conflicts — Like the War in Ukraine —Affect Children and Orphans About the Guest:  Elli Oswald is the Executive Director of the Faith to Action Initiative. The organization advocates for family-based care for children…
Through sports and chess, Robert Katende takes Christ to communities of young people from all religions living in IDP camps and local slums in Uganda. He shares his wisdom on mentoring young people, pastoral calling, effective sports ministry, and the absolute importance of ministry contextualization. Since the true story of one of his students was portrayed in the 2016 feature film, Queen of Katwe, Robert Katende continues to serve in sports ministry, coaching young people in Kampala, Uganda. What You’ll Learn: How sports ministry differs from sports activity programs The ingredients for an effective sports ministry Why understanding the community…
Will Lenzen Jr. is the founder of Echo. Beginning in Western Uganda, holistic education is making a difference one child and one family at a time through Echo. Echo’s model is sustainable and community building. It is a simple, replicable system, based on research, local children’s needs and measured growth. What You’ll Learn: Some of the practicalities of starting an international not-for-profit About the impact of holistic education and removing barriers to schooling The importance of understanding children’s needs in different communities About the Guest:  Will Lenzen Jr. is the Founder of ECHO, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to helping children…
Jackson Wu exposes how the plain text of scripture may be misunderstood, dismissed or amplified depending on one’s cultural lens. He looks at the pitfalls of presumption and filtering ancient text with modern eyes. Providing specific examples, he considers ways that Christians can revisit scripture bring it into better focus and not overlook how radical Christ’s cross really is. What You’ll Learn: About the characteristics of honor-shame cultures How culture filters someone’s understanding of scripture How missions and outreach may be adapted for an honor-shame cultural context About the Guest:  Jackson Wu (a pseudonym), at the time of this recording…
Naga Palepu thought he was the only Christian that had been born Hindu. Amid persecution from his family, he expressed his pain by recording a TikTok video and it went viral. The response to the video was the catalyst for an international, virtual community known as Hidden Christians. Here, young believers can still grow in faith and build friendships despite the threat of persecution. What You’ll Learn: Why some believers from a Hindu or Muslim background may not have access to brick-and-mortar churches How social media is introducing young people to Christ all over the world How churches can better…
Dr. Fred Farrokh breaks down the when, what and why Hajj matters to Muslims traveling to Mecca. He looks at the significance of pilgrimages in the Hebrew scriptures and in light of the New Testament. Dr. Fred Farrokh has served as a missionary for decades and currently trains other missionaries internationally; he is a Christian from a Muslim background. Bonus Content:  Journey with Jesus: A Spiritual Pilgrimage through the Psalms of Ascent – Free Download What You’ll Learn: The significance of Hajj in Muslim religion How pilgrimage differs for Christians compared to the commands in the Hebrew scriptures Unique congregational…
Lori Rogers pushes back on the idea that ‘missions’ is something that is only done overseas. With the Momentum Yes free, online, video series — Christians take a fresh look at God’s plan for the nations — discovering their place in God’s story. Lori considers the dynamic and practical implications for the church when the nations are regarded in the light of God’s love. Bonus Content:  Momentum Yes – Session 1 – Sneak Peek What You’ll Learn: About God’s love for the world revealed throughout scripture About the benefits of group study How Momentum Yes impacts missions in America and…
Brant Hansen compares toxic masculinity to what it actually means to follow Jesus. Moving from generational trauma to generational hope, he shares his discoveries about mentoring, fatherhood and adulting as a man in today’s culture. How can a man defend his family against harmful intruders and cultivate a life where the people around him can thrive? What You’ll Learn: The value of a man having a vision for his life What it means to tend God’s Garden in today’s world About the impact of one-month-mentorships About the Guest:  Brant Hansen is a nationally syndicated radio host, bestselling author and podcaster.…
Pastor Justin Adour looks at opportunities and potential blind spots when church planting in a neighborhood that is being gentrified. He also considers the church’s hesitancy to confront issues relating to justice and how that reluctance could overshadow a church’s testimony of Jesus. Almost three years ago—he and his wife, Angela, co-founded Redeemer East Harlem which is part of the family of Redeemer Presbyterian Churches in New York City. Located in the heart of what is traditionally known as Spanish Harlem, the community around the church is experiencing rapid gentrification. What You’ll Learn: Three of the Church’s Biggest Challenges to…

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