Friday, June 12, 2009

Council Estate Christians 22: Indigenous Leaders

Rather than write from my perspective about the importance of raising up Council Estate Christians as leaders, I shall quote Harvie Conn here:

"Leaders who do emerge from an indigenous upbringing are extremely valuable assets to a long-term ministry in that part of the city. They will eventually become the contextualist walking in the community filled with the Spirit of God. They are able to contextualize the gospel and bring to the neighborhood [sic] a Messiah who speaks the language of the people and who understands their needs. We believe that this kind of urban leadership is living and surviving in those pockets of the city. Finding and developing indigenous leaders is the most important thing we can do to grow the church in our urban centres. Yet for various reasons indigenous leaders are often ignored by church planters and denominational missionary groups.

Denominations are having difficulty finding this kind of leadership. They wonder where they will find urban leaders. Denominations also are finding the city resistant to their outreach. This is because they are not contextualized into the urban multicultural reality and are working out of a culture that is repellent to many of our city leaders. They do not realize that institutions are not neutral. Institutions have been formed by culture and continue to reinforce that culture within their ranks. The relocated leaders may have been formed in that settings and, therefore, finds it difficult to make headway in the urban area designated to start a church. We believe that denominations would do well to take seriously and seek to develop indigenous leaders."

Harvie M. Conn & Manuel Ortiz "Urban Ministry" p.382

Twynholm Baptist Church in Fulham is a great example of this. They prayed for a family to be saved. A family on a nearby estate got saved, one of youth in that family was Dean Dryden. Dean grew up to be an elder in the church.
If anyone knows more stories like this, please contact me through