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Rev. Dr. Alvin Sanders: The Urban Church as a Place of Healing and Impact

Episode #6

“We’re in a time where people need healing, and the Church is the answer for that. Jesus is the answer, but [knowing] Jesus through the Church is critical. [If pastors only] knew how much people needed the Church—not the politics of the Church, not all of the theology of the Church, but just the Church in action.” Thoughts on Mission & Ministry FROM LEADERS IN URBAN CHURCHES & COMMUNITIES, Page 12

Pastors have a God-given opportunity to lead their church to impact communities for the common good. Listen as Angela welcomes Dr. Alvin Sanders, President and CEO of World Impact, an organization that trains and equips church leaders and workers to serve in urban areas. World Impact and the Barna Group released a study this month: Inside the Urban Church – How local congregations engage with and impact their communities (October 2023). With a representative sample across eight major US metros, this quantitative and qualitative study heard from a cross-section of pastors, community, civic leaders, and churched and unchurched participants.

One of the many key findings of the study was that churched and unchurched respondents saw the church as a safe space to wrestle with and help figure out the moral issues of the day; thus, urban churches have a huge opportunity to convene discussions that bring understanding and healing through God’s truth. “The study also revealed that metro residents inside and outside the Church think Christian churches are well-positioned to address the problem of loneliness. This finding is notable for highlighting the top issue locals entrust to churches and as a sign of common ground in perceptions among the churched and unchurched.” (Page 22) Both these insights offer encouragement on how we can have new conversations on abortion in our churches and be perceived as safe to approach for help.

In this episode, Angela and Dr. Sanders discuss their hope and mutual love for the Church to be as Christ designed, a place of grace and belonging to reflect the kingdom in a secularized world. How can the Church be ready to receive people with the love God intended?


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