The Urban Ministry Podcast


Diversifying the Church’s Discipleship: Kevin Jones

GUEST: Kevin Jones 

One of the most beautiful aspects of urban ministry is its diversity. Ethnic diversity! Racial diversity! Socioeconomic diversity! But this diversity can also be a challenge when it comes to evangelism and discipleship. The gospel and the Word of God are the tools that God uses to transform people’s lives, no matter what their background may be. And yet, the ways that we make these truths understandable change depending on our context. If you have a passion for seeing people’s lives transformed in urban contexts, this episode of the Urban Ministry Podcast is for you. Our guest is Kevin Jones, professor of education at Kentucky State University.


What Stands in the Way of Diversity in the Church?: Jamaal Williams

GUEST: Jamaal Williams 

There is in the New Testament a trajectory toward diversity. Jesus begins by calling together a group of Jewish males and then his circle of disciples expands to include women and Samaritans and then the risen Christ commissions his disciples to make disciples of all the nations. Throughout the book of Acts, people from an increasingly diverse range of colors and cultures gather together in local communities of faith in the name of Jesus Christ. And yet, despite this trajectory in Scripture, churches in the United States today are not diverse. According to recent research from LifeWay, 86 percent of pastors say that their churches are not racially diverse at all. So what is it that keeps churches from becoming racially diverse? If that’s a question that matters to you, this episode of the Urban Ministry Podcast is for you. Jamaal Williams, lead pastor of Sojourn Community Church Midtown, is joining us today to answer that question.


How Christians Can Become Partners in Public Education: Kevin Jones

GUEST: Kevin Jones 

Urbanization! It’s happening all around us. In 2010, for the first time in human history, more than half of the people on this planet lived in urban contexts. In the past, many churches have taken a “rescue mission” approach to lower-income urban areas, providing charity for people in need. But there are other ways that believers in Jesus Christ can be present in urban areas! One of these ways is to teach in urban schools. In this episode of the Urban Ministry Podcast, we’ll be talking to Dr. Kevin Jones, chair of the school of education at Kentucky State University. If you’re interested in the development of urban communities, you won’t want to miss this episode of the Urban Ministry Podcast.


Loving Your Neighbor in the Inner City: Jamaal Williams

GUEST: Jamaal Williams 

If you’re the pastor of an inner-city church, should you live in the same neighborhood as your church? And, if so, what are some of the unique challenges and opportunities of living in the inner city? That’s what we will be exploring today on the Urban Ministry Podcast. If you want to learn more about what it means to serve God in the city, then this episode is for you.


Learning to Love Your City: Charles Shannon

GUEST: Charles Shannon 

God did not create us as disembodied or decontextualized creatures. He created us as physical beings who live in particular places. And, in the beginning, he called Adam and Eve to cultivate their physical space and to create culture in the context where he had placed them. If you’re called to serve God in the city, how can you learn to love the context where God has placed you? That’s what I’ll discuss today with urban church planter Charles Shannon.


Caring for Your Family as a Church Planter: Nick Nye and Charles Shannon

GUEST: Nick Nye and Charles Shannon 

What you do for God beyond your home will never typically be greater than what you practice with God within your home. Whether you’re single or married, with children or without, your family has a profound impact on your ministry. That’s why one of the qualifications that Paul gave for pastors was “to manage his own household well.” So how can you as a pastor or a church planter care for your family well? I have with me today two urban pastors to discuss this topic. If you want to lead your family well as a pastor, you won’t want to miss this episode of the Urban Ministry Podcast.


Developing Deep Community in Urban Contexts: Brad House

Suppose God has called you to plant a church in the city. You’re struggling simply to gather a core group. When someone asks you about small groups, you wonder, “Do I really need to think about small groups? Why isn’t enough simply to have an outstanding Sunday morning worship experience and deal with groups later, after the church is growing?” Today, our guest is Brad House, the author of Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support and the coauthor with Gregg Allison of the book Multichurch. Brad House and Timothy Paul Jones discuss the unique dynamics of small groups in urban contexts.


Caring for the Souls of Singles in Urban Contexts: Lilly H. Park

There are more than 100 million single adults in the United States. In 2016, 53% of adults in the United States were unmarried, and 64% of these individuals had never been married. Since an overwhelming percentage of singles are moving into urban contexts, urban congregations must learn to minister effectively with single adults. In this episode of the Urban Ministry Podcast, Lilly Park—professor of biblical counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary—joins Timothy Paul Jones to talk about how churches in the city can help single adults to pursue God’s calling for their lives.


Caring for Your Soul in the City: Nick Nye and Charles Shannon

GUESTS: Nick Nye and Charles Shannon 

Ministry is exhausting! But God’s calling is for us to “fight the good fight, keep the faith, and finish the race” well. If you want to finish the race well, it’s essential that you learn to care for your soul—but many of us have never received guidance when it comes to caring for our own souls. On today’s episode, I’ll be talking with two pastors—Nick Nye from Apostles Church Union Square in New York City and Charles Shannon from The Mission Church in Norfolk, Virginia—about the habits and disciplines that we need to care for our souls as pastors. If you’re tired and burnt out, or if you’re simply wanting to start well in ministry, this episode is for you.


What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Urban Ministry: Charles Shannon

GUEST: Charles Shannon

Ministry is filled with surprises—but the types of surprises you face in ministry will be different, depending on your context. Paul urged Timothy against “myths and endless genealogies” in Ephesus—but the warning he gave to Titus in Crete was against “empty talkers and deceivers.” This week, our goal is to help you to pay attention to the unique challenges of the context where God has placed you. On today’s episode, I’ll be talking with Charles Shannon about the challenges he’s faced in his first year as an urban church planter. If you’re considering planting a church, pastoring a church, or participating in a church in an urban context, this episode is for you.