Publisher: United Methodist Publishing House | Date published: 02/20/2002
Since the 1950s, conventional wisdom has insisted that cities are not supportive environments for large, active missionary churches. In this fascinating new book, however, church growth expert Lyle Schaller debunks this myth. In fact, states Schaller, research shows that more than one-half of the largest Protestant congregations in the United States are to be found in the large central cities -- as are more than one-half of the forty fastest growing Protestant churches.
Center City Churches demonstrates that urban churches actually provide the most creative new frontier for church growth, and Schaller offers fourteen profiles of "high performance" urban churches to illustrate what is taking place in cities today. Each profile focuses on quality of the church's ministry, the personalities of its usually long-tenured and visionary pastors, community outreach, members, preaching, music, weekday programs, reputation, real estate, and, in many cases, radio and television ministry.
You'll also find that Schaller identifies thirty themes that surfaced repeatedly in his work with large, growing central city churches. These themes not only explain the complexity and challenge of urban ministry, but also provide a conceptual framework for analyzing an urban congregation, and -- according to Schaller -- "grist for the mill that grinds out a denominational strategy for ministry on this new urban frontier in the twenty-first century."