Church Planting in New York City: A Case for a Global Cities Church Planting Strategy
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This thesis looks at the missiological implications of church planting in global cities. Chapter 1 introduces the main argument for this thesis: that all evangelism strategies should hold church planting as the end goal and that the most strategic places to implement these strategies are our global cities as evidenced by what has happened in New York City. The chapter will begin with a look at the significant movement that has happened in Manhattan over a twenty year period (1990- 2010) with the evangelical population of the city growing from less than one percent evangelical to now more than three percent. An introduction to the definition of global cities will segue into a look at the imperative for church planting initiatives in these cities. Chapter 2 will offer a deeper study of the characteristics of a global city and the missiological significance of such cities. It will explore world urbanization in light of the fact that over 50 percent of the world now lives in cities. The strategic nature of the cities will be analyzed given the influence that global cities have on the culture of the rest of the world. Finally, New York City will be shown as a global city and its significance on the missiological landscape will be highlighted. Chapter 3 provides a history of some of the major New York City church planting initiatives. Specifically, it will review the church planting history of Concerts of Prayer and the Church Multiplication Alliance, Timothy Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Jim Cymbala and The Brooklyn Tabernacle. Lastly this chapter will reveal methodologies used by other prominent ministries to reach the city context. Chapter 4 will look at implications learned from New York City on how a global city church planting strategy could impact the Southern Baptist Convention. A look at the history of SBC church planting in New York City will be looked at with special attention being paid to the effectiveness of these strategies. Chapter 5 will conclude this thesis with a look at the lessons learned during this research process. It will also look at three areas of further study that are needed. This work contends that the priority of all missions strategies should be a focused approach on global city church planting. This will prove to be an effective use of people and financial resources that ultimately has an impact on the whole world.