Social Healing in an Urban Ministry Context

Abstract by Sung K. Kwon

What is the Christian faith about? What does that mean exactly—to be Christians? How are we to live? What is God asking for us?

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we witness a genuine servanthood approach toward humanity, especially people who were marginalized, disadvantaged and disenfranchised from society. They were the poor, the sick, the unclean—all outcasts as sinful people. Jesus expanded the kingdom of God to places, people and cultures that some people had never considered God to be interested in (Conn and Ortiz 2001). 

Therefore, urban ministry is not about building bigger churches—instead, being human—in communion with God and one another, as God intended. As we fulfill God’s missional engagement intentionally and sustainably, the church’s growth will be the byproduct of being faithful to God’s calling.

As we follow God’s inspiration and instruction—to mingle with people, have a desire for their good, show sympathy, and minister to their physical, mental, social and spiritual needs (“Ministry of Healing,” page 143); the good news of salvation and love of God will be shared through life-on-life evangelism. God requires a total life commitment from those who would be His followers.

Conclusively, ministry begins with Who—the God who loves us and those whom God sends us to love (Kenda Creasy Dean. 2022). Urban ministry is not about What and How but about seeking His kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, the fundamental question is: Are we the people God calls us to be? Are we faithful expressions of the kingdom of God in our homes, neighbors, communities and the world—tangible, recognizable and visible?

Conn, Harvie M., and Manuel Ortiz. 2001. Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City & the People of God. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
Kenda Creasy Dean. 2022. Innovating for Love.
White, Ellen G. 2003. The Ministry of Healing. Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press.