The challenge of Urban Harvest

Here are my final quotes from Roy Joslin’s Urban Harvest to mark the thirtieth anniversary of its publication.

Click here for a list of previous posts in this series.

The challenge of the city

The exodus of Christians from the inner-city areas to the more desirable residential areas of suburbia has seriously undermined the life and witness of churches in working-class areas. (43)

There are too many urban people and too few urban Christians. So we cannot afford a ‘believer-drain’ to the suburbs. (223)

It would be wrong to suggest that God wants all Christians in the inner city to stay where they are and never to consider a move. But I do not believe that no Christian should leave the inner city without considering fully the spiritual issues involved. (224)

If God could transform pagan Ninevah, can He not do the same for pagan London, Liverpool or Birmingham? If God chose to achieve the transformation of Ninevah through an imperfect human instrument like Jonah, then God can use us too. We must direct our unceasing prayers to this end. (311)

The challenge of evangelism

It is possible to detect a marked contrast between the New Testament Christians and those of today in relation to the spreading of the gospel. Put simply, it is this: they did it; we talk about it! Evangelism for the early Christians was not something they isolated from other aspects of Christian living in order to specialize, analyse, theorize and organize. (79)

For many believers, their ‘evangelistic lungs’ are in a poor state of health. Witnessing to our faith in Jesus Christ is such an effort – just like laboured breathing! We cannot go on like this. (81)

Urban Harvest is available here from and This month IVP are publishing my latest book, Unreached: Growing Churches in Working-Class and Deprived Areas, was written with the Reaching the Unreached network.


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  1. Pingback: Q marks the spot – Treasure Map 50 (November 2012) | Quaerentia

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