The Urban Ministry Podcast


Loving Refugees During the Holidays: John Barnett

GUEST: John Barnett 

Thanksgiving! Christmas! New Year’s! When you hear those words, you probably think of family traditions and the fragrance of foods that your family enjoys. But what do refugees think about when they hear these words? Some refugees may think of traditions from their homelands that are very different from anything you might associate with these holidays. Others may see them as uniquely Western or American. Still others may never have heard of these holidays at all. So how can Christians serve refugees during the holiday season? That’s the question that we will be exploring today on the Urban Ministry Podcast. Our guest is John Barnett, executive director of Refuge. If you are interested in sharing the gospel with immigrants and refugees, you will not want to miss this episode.


Helping Your Church to Share the Gospel with Refugees: John Barnett

GUEST: John Barnett 

More than 68 million individuals are currently displaced due to religious persecution, war, or other violence. Globally, one out of every 110 people is either seeking asylum, displaced within their own country, or a refugee. Many of these individuals seek refuge in cities throughout the United States. But how should Christians respond to refugees? How can we show compassion to them and seek justice for them? And, most importantly, how can we impact their lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ? That’s what we’ll be discussing today on the Urban Ministry Podcast. My guest is John Barnett, a social entrepreneur who has served refugees in Africa, Europe, and North America as well as working to create sustainable economies among the urban poor in Algeria, Uganda, and France. This is an episode that you won’t want to miss!


Developing Multicultural Worship Experiences in Urban Contexts: Jonny Barahona

God’s people are called to sing to one another! In the words of Paul to the Colossian church, “Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts.” But how should our context shape the specific ways that we sing to one another? How should a church pursuing multiethnic and multicultural ministry select songs and styles of music? And how, specifically, should we sing as the people of God in the city? That’s the topic that we explore in this episode with Jonny Barahona, minister of music at Sojourn Church Midtown in Louisville.


Developing an Urban Missions Ministry in Your Church: Jesse Eubanks

GUEST: Jesse Eubanks 

Today, we want to provide you with a vision for the future of missions in your neighborhood. Love Thy Neighborhood is an urban ministry for young adults that seeks to make an impact for Christ in the areas of homelessness, the sex industry, crisis pregnancy, orphan care, healthcare, neighborhood renewal, and nonprofit leadership. Their goal is to equip and to mobilize the next generation of Christian leaders to work with the poor, the suffering, and the marginalized. Here are some of the questions that we’ll be exploring today: How could your church begin to engage the poor, the suffering, and the marginalized? What might God do in your church, if this became part of your vision for the future? What is the first step that you could take toward gathering young adults to love your neighborhood. With us today is Jesse Eubanks, the founder and executive director of Love Thy Neighborhood. If neighborhood outreach is part of your church’s vision, you won’t want to miss this episode of 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.