This article is Part 2 of a series of five trends facing World Missions, written before his passing by Dr. Bill George, Editorial Assistant to the General Overseer, for the EVANGEL’s globalCONNECT.

In many nations, the pattern over the years has been to establish churches in rural areas. This methodology emerged because property and building costs are less expensive outside the cities; early missionaries who ministered in many areas often had a more rural than urban personal background; and relationships are often easier to establish and maintain among rural people.

However, in the 20th century, the emphasis moved from the country to the city. In 1950, there were 83 cities in the world with 1 million inhabitants. That count by 2014 had spiraled to nearly 500! The world is urbanizing. One of the great challenges of missions in coming years will be to strengthen the church’s presence in the urban areas of the world. It will be a costly undertaking, but the cities are where the people are. In its vision to reach the cities, World Missions has initiated the “Send the Light to the Cities Project,” focusing on 11 major cities of the world to evangelize and build training centers.

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(To be continued … )