On this edition of The Exchange, author, former pastor, and Executive Director of Reach Life Ministries, D.A. Horton explores the importance of spreading the Gospel in the urban context.

“The urban culture, the rhythm, and the presence of it all have really engulfed our nation.”

Learning to engage and share the Gospel in an urban setting is more crucial than ever because 80% of the population is urbanized.

Those that do not live in an urban setting still access urban culture through the internet and smart phones.

Horton teaches that context is the key. It is essential to understand the perspective of the person you are trying to share the gospel with, enabling you to share it in a way that speaks to them.

 “We must learn to adapt how we communicate the unchanging Gospel in changing cultural settings.”

Before we can engage those in the urban culture around us, it’s imperative that we understand the Gospel ourselves. If we don’t understand the Gospel we won’t be effective, no matter how much we understand the culture.

How do I learn a culture?

“You’ve gotta be a sociologist, you’ve got to study people.”

Become a student of the city and discover the rhythm of it; use it to speak to people.

Discover trigger words and illustrations that are culturally relevant to help people understand the Gospel you are trying to preach.

It’s more than just coming into a city, giving a Gospel presentation, and then being gone the next day. It’s more important to have a Gospel presence in a city, living out the Gospel day in and day out.

We can’t force the community into our plan; we have to adjust our technique to fit the culture. We have to come alongside the context of the culture as it is today, presenting the Gospel with our lives and praying for opportunities where our lives intersect with those who need to hear the Gospel.

We never want to come in like we are competition for what is already being done. Instead we want to come from the perspective of a complementary Gospel partnership with whatever the Holy Spirit is already doing in the area.

“Lord I did the best I could, forgive me for my sins, I transfer all glory to you, and I pray that you will give me rest, and allow me to be recharged and energized to go back out tomorrow to make much of you” – D.A. Horton.

Spreading the Gospel in the urban context