City Lights: Ministry Essentials for Reaching Urban Youth

City Lights: Ministry Essentials for Reaching Urban Youth




Discover the insights of Leading Urban Youth Ministry Experts

City Lights contains the most cutting-edge urban youth ministry models in practice today. Not written by mere theorists, the authors of these 18 chapters are on the front lines, ministering to urban teens from virtually every culture and subculture in our inner cities. This book covers every aspect of the complex ministry of reaching kids in metropolitan areas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764423864
Publisher: Group Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/28/2002
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.44(d)

Read an Excerpt


For too long, urban ministries have had to adapt materials to their needs because of the lack of materials targeted specifically for urban youth. This is completely backward-most trends originate in urban communities before becoming part of mainstream youth culture in five to ten years. In fact, because of worldwide technology and the globalization of youth culture, the span of time this "mainstreaming" takes is shortening all the time.

Many people, for example, don't realize that school violence was not invented in 1996 when Barry Loukaitis fatally shot one teacher and two students in Moses Lake, Washington. In the 1992-1993 school year, fifty people were murdered in public schools, but because those murders occurred primarily in urban settings and involved low-income minority youth, the public outcry was much less pronounced.

Through the influence of the global hip-hop subculture, American inner-city teenagers are actually leading youth culture at large. But this is the case not only in clothing styles and music. Urban youth are also poised to lead teenagers worldwide toward Christ, as they become radically committed to him.

Common sense would say we ought to be investing a good share of our curriculum development dollars in urban youth programs. Innovative programs that are successful in our cities today will be our most effective programs for reaching mainstream rural and suburban youth in just a few short years.

City Lights: Ministry Essentials for Reaching Urban Youth contains the most cutting-edge urban youth ministry models in America today. Not mere theorists, the authors of these eighteen chapters are on the front lines, ministering to urban teens from virtually every culture and subculture in our inner cities. This book covers every aspect of the complex ministry of reaching kids in urban America. It is invaluable for those who feel called to leave the suburbs for the city, as well as for veterans who have labored with urban kids for years. It's been our distinct privilege to work with each of these authors as we have attempted to pull out the best of what they have learned in a collective four hundred-plus years of frontline urban youth ministry.

Enjoy it. But above all-and for the sake of thousands of kids-put it into practice!

Rev. Alvin C. Bibbs Sr.-Rev. Alvin C. Bibbs Sr. is director of extension ministries at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Rev. Bibbs also works as a chaplain with professional sports teams in Chicago. He has a Master of Arts degree in Christian leadership development from Fuller Theological Seminary. Alvin is married to Peggy, and they have two sons: Alvin Cartel Jr. and Brandon Quintin.

Dean Borgman-Dean Borgman is professor of youth ministry and holds the Charles E. Culpeper Chair of Youth Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's urban campus in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also founder and director of the Center for Youth Studies, a national and global network of those interested in research on adolescence and the youth culture. Dean has written several books and articles on youth culture and youth ministry. He earned a Master of Arts degree in education at Fairfield University. Dean and his wife, Gail, have four children: John, Debbie, Matthew, and Christen.

Harvey F. Carey-Harvey F. Carey is assistant pastor at Salem Baptist Church of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Rev. Carey is known for his remarkable ability to communicate the transforming Word of God to people of all ages. He has served as a contributing author for books about youth ministry. He is pursuing his master of divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter, Tiffany.

Patricia Coleman Hill-Patricia Coleman Hill is director of the M.O.D.E.L. (Made of Divine Excellence and Love) Mentoring Program at Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The M.O.D.E.L. program helps young ladies in the public school system with disciplinary problems and helps them turn their lives around through one-on-one mentoring. Patricia also operates her own family catering business. She has one daughter, Keita Nwenna.

Marvin A. Daniels-Marvin A. Daniels is Midwest regional program facilitator with Compassion USA, and lives in Chicago, Illinois. Compassion USA is a Christian child advocacy ministry that assists local churches and Christian ministries in building developmental holistic programs for at-risk and impoverished children and youth in America's inner cities, rural South, and American Indian reservations. Marvin has been a youth minister for fourteen years in various urban centers in America. He is married to LeAndra Letrese and has four children: Malachi, Isaiah, Micah, and Imani.

Karen Free-Karen Free is director of communications for Straight Ahead Ministries, Inc. She has spent the last thirty years in print media as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, journalist, and editor. She has three daughters.

Ken Gordon-Ken Gordon is pastor of Lowell Mission Church in Lowell, Massachusetts. He has been an officer in the local organization Cambodian American Christian Fellowship, which seeks to enhance fellowship and evangelistic outreach within the local Cambodian community. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in cross-cultural studies from North Central Bible College. He and his wife, Rhea, have three children: Kendra, Caleb, and Daniel.

Charles Harper-Charles Harper is director of Christ for Native Youth and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has served in Native ministry for eighteen years in Alaska, Arizona, and New Mexico. Charles is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Columbia College, and Biblical Theological Seminary. He is married to Cindy and has three sons.

Rev. Eli V. Hernandez-Rev. Eli V. Hernandez is pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Orlando, Florida, and founder of Breath of Life Outreach Ministries, which focuses on at-risk youth. He also serves as the youth consultant for the American Baptist denomination in Florida. As an evangelist and motivational speaker, he ministers to thousands of youth and families around the country and abroad. He has written several articles on street and hip-hop culture and Hispanic youth ministry. Rev. Hernandez is a candidate for a master of divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is married to Rev. Aprilis Y. Diaz-Hernandez and has a daughter, Suheily.

Chris Hill-Chris Hill is youth pastor and associate pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. Having served as an urban youth pastor, evangelist, and motivational speaker for nearly twenty years, Pastor Hill has great success in motivating people to improve their lives spiritually, educationally, socially, and economically. He is the author of The Winning Spirit (Group Publishing). Chris is married to Lady Joy Hill, and they have a son, Christopher Hill Jr.

Rudy Howard-Rudy Howard is president and founder of Luke 4:18 Ministries in Memphis, Tennessee. As executive director of the Urban Youth Initiative in Memphis, Rev. Howard recruited, funded, trained, and deployed over eighty urban youth leaders to reach unchurched young people. Rev. Howard holds Master of Arts and master of divinity degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Kathy, have one son, Christian.

Judy D. Landis-Judy D. Landis coordinates the urban missions ministry of Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Judy has served as a conference and retreat speaker, addressing economic and racial justice concerns. She has also taught urban youth ministry courses at Eastern College and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She holds a master's degree in urban missions from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dr. Scott Larson-Rev. Dr. Scott Larson is president and founder of Straight Ahead Ministries in Westboro, Massachusetts. Straight Ahead Ministries is a national organization focused on reaching juvenile offenders. Scott has authored six books (including At Risk and Risk in Our Midst with Group Publishing) and has traveled extensively as a speaker to youth, parents, teachers, social workers, and youth workers since 1983. Scott and his wife, Hanne, have two children, Sarah and David.

Efrem Smith-Efrem Smith is youth pastor at Park Avenue Church and executive director of Park Avenue Foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Efrem has been a featured speaker at events such as Soul Liberation Festival, Extreme 98, Hoodfest, Cornerstone Festival, and Athletes in Action. He has also provided workshops for Youth Leadership, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Youth Specialties. Raised in Minneapolis, Efrem is a graduate of Minneapolis North High School, St. John's University, and Luther Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donecia, have two daughters, Jaeda and Mireya.

Rev. Claire Sullivan-Rev. Claire Sullivan is a missionary at Emmanuel Gospel Center and a licensed minister at Lion of Judah Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. She is also Boston coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries. Claire founded and directed Starlight Ministries, an interdenominational outreach to Boston's homeless. She holds a Master of Arts degree in urban ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Chris Troy-Chris Troy is founder and president of the Boston Urban Youth Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Urban Youth Foundation serves over 500 young people with the mission of "helping young people develop spiritually, emotionally, academically, and economically." Chris is a graduate of Bethel College and has a long history of being committed to seeing at-risk youth living the abundant life of Christ.

Harold Dean Trulear-Harold Dean Trulear is pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church of Twin Oaks, Pennsylvania. He also teaches religion, public policy, and community studies at several institutions, including Yale University, Drew University, Hartford Seminary, Eastern College, and the Center for Urban Theological Studies. Dr. Trulear serves on several boards and has authored more than sixty published articles, essays, sermons, and reviews. He recently completed a three-year stint as vice president of faith-based initiatives at Public/Private Ventures, a policy think tank in Philadelphia. Dr. Trulear is a graduate of Morehouse College and holds a doctorate from Drew University. He and his wife, Vickie, are the parents of three adolescent children.

Joel Van Dyke-Joel Van Dyke is senior pastor of Bethel Temple Community Bible Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition, he has worked with the Compassionworks Urban Youth Workers Conference as conference planner and trainer since its inception in 1989. He also developed and directed a citywide student leadership program for the Philadelphia Project for Youth Ministry. Joel has a master of divinity degree, with a special emphasis in urban missions, from Westminster Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Marilyn, have a son, Joeito.

Peter Vanacore-Peter Vanacore is national field director for Straight Ahead Ministries in Westboro, Massachusetts. Peter has lectured at various colleges and seminaries on crisis intervention, ministry to troubled youth, and child abuse intervention. Peter has a masters in social work from Fordham University. He is married to Dianne and has three children: Sarah, Kirk, and Mark.

Karin M. Wall, LICSW-Karin M. Wall is executive director of Bruce Wall Ministries in Boston, Massachusetts. She is also a licensed independent clinical social worker. For Karin, working with youth is a means to an end-it ultimately produces healthy adults. She holds master's degrees in social work and African American history, both from Boston University. She is married to Bruce, and they have three children.

Table of Contents

George Gallup Jr.

Dr. Scott Larson

Chapter 1: A Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry
Harold Dean Trulear

Chapter 2: Communicating the Gospel in an Urban Context
Efrem Smith

Chapter 3: The Code of the Streets
Dean Borgman

Chapter 4: Creating Youth Ministry That Crosses Cultures
Joel Van Dyke

Chapter 5: Ministering to African-American Youth and Families
Rudy Howard

Chapter 6: Ministering to Hispanic-American Youth and Families
Rev. Eli V. Hernandez

Chapter 7: Ministering to Southeast Asian-American Youth and Families
Ken Gordon

Chapter 8: Ministering to Native American Youth and Families
Charles Harper

Chapter 9: Ministry to Today's Urban Girls
Patricia Coleman Hill and Judy D. Landis

Chapter 10: Ministering to Today's Juvenile Offender
Dr. Scott Larson

Chapter 11: Developing a Mentoring Ministry
Peter Vanacore

Chapter 12: Equipping Urban Churches to Enfold Troubled Teenagers
Rev. Claire Sullivan

Chapter 13: The Urban Youth Church
Chris Hill

Chapter 14:Developing Urban Student Leadership
Marvin A. Daniels

Chapter 15:Developing Mission-Driven Programs
Chris Troy

Chapter 16: Developing Holistic Ministry Programs Through Creative Use of Resources
Karin M. Wall, LICSW

Chapter 17: The Power of Partnerships Between Urban and Suburban Youth Ministries
Rev. Alvin C. Bibbs Sr.

Chapter 18: Nurturing Your Staff and Volunteers
Harvey F. Carey

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