Dehoney Center launches The Journal for Urban Ministry

Communications Staff — October 27, 2008

The new Wayne and Lealice Dehoney Center for Urban Ministry Training at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary now has an online journal aimed at helping ministers to reach the inner city with the Gospel.

The Journal of Urban Ministry launched this month with several articles on urban ministry, including works on church planting and contextualization.

Editor Chuck Lawless, who serves as dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, said he hopes the journal will benefit both ministers and new followers of Christ.

“The goal of this journal is to provide a resource for academicians and practitioners who long to reach cities as Dr. Dehoney did,” Lawless writes.

“Primarily, we want to assist church leaders in doing the hard work of influencing a city for Christ. It is our hope that the feature articles, book reviews, regular columns, and ‘From the Trenches’ ministry reports will provide valuable insights and suggestions for urban ministers. Most importantly, we pray that God will use the readers of this journal to reach new disciples of Jesus in cities throughout the world.”

In the opening article, Kevin Hall reflects on the way in which God stirred up in him a love and desire for urban ministry. Hall says he did not grow up in the city, but developed great affections for sharing the Gospel in urban areas. Hall serves as co-associate director of the Dehoney Center and works for the Louisville Police Department.

“Experiences, urban friends, professors, and Bible study have cultivated my heart for the city,” he writes. “I have grown to love the city — the sights, the sounds, and sometimes the smells. I am enamored by the places and the people of the city. Skylines and their high rise buildings captivate me. The people often remind me of what heaven will look like — different ethnicities, cultures, and languages.”

J.D. Payne employs an acrostic “GOING URBAN” to unpack several significant components that are fundamental to ministering in modern urban settings. The first component is that such a ministry must be, above all, God-centered.

Payne is a national missionary with the North American Mission Board and serve as associate professor of church planting and evangelism Southern. He is the author of Missional House Churches.

“God continues to raise up and call his ministers to serve in the great cities of this world to see disciples, leaders, and churches multiplied for the kingdom,” Payne writes.

“Though all missionaries must respond to God with a selfless abandonment and a total dependence on him, the cities of this world amplify the need to make certain that a God-Dependence is at the heart of everything the missionary does. A daily dying to self and being filled with the Spirit are absolute musts (Eph 5:18).”

The journal includes additional articles and book reviews and provides a listing of urban ministry opportunities. The Journal of Urban Ministry is available at

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