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Urban Ministry doesn't have to look like this.

You can take off Saul's armor...

...and pick up five smooth stones

As an urban church leader, have you ever felt frustrated by...

  • how few spiritual leaders have grown up from within your urban culture?
  • how little long-term fruit your discipleship efforts seem to bear?
  • financial demands bigger than your people can meet, so that needs go unmet or else you remain dependent on outside support?
  • a constant challenge just to maintain so that dreams of multiplying ministry seem out of reach?

Could it be that the main reason so many urban churches struggle is not because it's harder for churches to do well in poor neighborhoods, but because our usual ways of doing church don't transplant well into urban soil?

Saul's armor

"In one year our church made more progress in developing leaders from our urban neighborhood than during the previous twenty years combined."

Dennis Hesselbarth, Senior Pastor
Hilltop Urban Church
Wichita, Kansas

In the U.S. and Canada, we have often burdened David with Saul's armor by importing middle-class ways of doing church into low-income communities.

A middle-class model of church requires:

  • Money. Lots of funds for buildings and professional staff.
  • Organizational abilities. Experience in managing institutions and large programs.
  • Academic skills. Ability to teach and learn using primarily an academic (reading/writing-based) approach.

Five Smooth Stones

The mission of Cities on Hilltops is to help urban churches trade in the heavy burden of Saul's institutional armor for the five smooth stones of simple Christian community so they can become healthier, self-supporting, and reproducing.

          From Saul's Armor
Five smooth stones           
Recruiting leaders
Growing leaders

Cities on Hilltops helps urban church leaders navigate these culture changes by mastering oral-culture* strategies of discipleship, leadership development, and organization which are far more effective in urban churches than the more familiar print-culture* methods.


* By print culture we mean a culture in which reading and writing are central to the learning process. Oral culture refers to a culture in which the preferred methods of communicating and learning are oral, even if many members of the culture read and write.

Cities on Hilltops
Phone: (316) 440-3681