The World at Our Doorstep: The Stream of Immigrants Flooding into North America's Largest Cities Demands Our Stronger Commitment to Global City Mission Work
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Globalization and urbanization are growing trends which present the Christian church with wonderful mission opportunities. Unfortunately, the WELS is not taking full advantage of these opportunities because we are not very well established in big cities. The purpose of this thesis is to draw our attention to the globalization and urbanization and the great opportunity they give us, to examine how and why the WELS is falling short in the major global cities, and to push our synod to prioritize, fund, and carry out global city ministry to a greater extent than we ever have before. The methods used to accomplish these goals included research of sociological and ethnographic statistics, a review of WELS and church history, an examination of what other Christian denominations are doing, and a thorough study of God’s Word on the topic. The writer also conducted a number of personal, phone, and email interviews with global city pastors and those involved with our synod’s home missions. In sharing the results of his research and study, the writer aims to strip away many of the misconceptions and excuses for avoiding city ministry. This thesis concludes that although finances are the main reason we in WELS hesitate to do more global city work, the mission field is so ripe that the work is absolutely worth the extra cost. Going to a lot more global cities is not a hopeless task or even an unreasonable one. If we work together and use our funds wisely, we can do a lot more. We just need to make a conscious, unified effort to do so. The thesis closes with a few practical questions which may enable our synod leadership and those in charge of finances and missions to start a discussion and come up with suitable answers, so we can stop letting finances get in our way of doing valuable work.