Urban Churches


Daniel Winnberg D.Min.
This project was a pilot program for adults to engage in sermon-based community groups. The goal of the project was not to define a long-term plan, but rather learn lessons for a potential future implementation of sermon-based community groups incorporated as a part of the shepherding strategy for the pastoral staff of Inter-City Baptist Church in Allen Park, Michigan.

The genesis of the project began at The Church of the Open Bible in Burlington, Massachusetts, where I served as pastor along with fellow elders. We discussed different strategies to aid us in shepherding the believers in God in our assembly, including practical steps to disciple one another. After a few small-group book studies and trial sermon-based groups were completed, it was decided to pursue a pilot program for sermon-based community groups. After having resigned as pastor there, I was afforded the opportunity to complete the project at Inter-City Baptist Church, where I served previously on pastoral staff. The project was completed with three groups: one that met on Sunday evening, a men's only group on Monday morning, and a third on Wednesday evening.

This project surveyed some biblical theological principles as a basis for sermon-based community groups. The project also surveyed some current key literature on the topic of small groups in general and sermon-based groups in particular.

The project concluded with an evaluation meeting with the pastoral staff. A good discussion took place on how the pilot program was executed, evaluation of the benefits of such a program, and a few options to be evaluated for potential future implementation in the life of the church.

Developing a strategy to transition Hopewell Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia, to a multicampus approach

Ronald Scott Harris
The purpose of the project was to develop a strategy to transition Hopewell Baptist church, Gainesville, Georgia, to a multicampus approach. At the present time, Hopewell is a land locked, large church meeting on one campus in an older part of Gainesville, Georgia. The vision of the project director is that this large church will embrace this strategy in order to reach more people in the growing community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The project director carried this project out in four steps. Step one was to explore the demographics of a five, ten, and twenty-mile radius of the church's current location. Step two was to explore existing multicampus models in order to obtain best practices. The third step was to develop a strategy for Hopewell Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia, to employ a multicampus approach. The final step was to present the strategy to the leadership team of Hopewell Baptist Church for approval.

A Case for Lament: Strategies to Augment Cross-Cultural Discipleship Efforts at Bridge Community Church and Cornerstone Church

Sahr Mbriwa
American evangelical Protestant churches in multicultural settings are predominantly monocultural. While some churches might be open to the idea of cross-cultural engagement, their discipleship process and methods tend to be greatly influenced by the dominant culture of the church and rarely influenced by the subdominant culture. This can hinder cross-cultural discipleship and engagement. In addition, one rhythm is glaringly absent in our discipleship: lament. Lament is essential to cross-cultural discipleship. This paper will explore the relationship between lament and cross-cultural discipleship. It will also offer four lament-based strategies to augment cross-cultural discipleship efforts in two monocultural evangelical Protestant churches: Bridge Community Church and Cornerstone Church.
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