I would like to suggest that current global trends implies that we apply a set of missional priorities. Such priorities influence the vision of Global City Mission Initiative as well. Strategically, we ought to bring global engagement into intersections where all of the above factors are mingling. We desire to see the Gospel engage where global populations are in motion. We are striving to make disciples at the crossroads of the world.
There are two main populations that are particularly strategic in this regard. 1) First generation immigrants. We are living in the greatest international migration in the history of the world. Internationals, expats, and immigrant diasporas are moving in & out of cities criss-crossing across the planet. They are staying connected to their homeland like never before and simultaneously represent some of the most creative entrepreneurs in their newly adopted society. 2) College students in major metro areas. College students represent some of the lowest percentages of faith involvement in the West, so the need alone to engage students is enough to prioritize these populations. However, they also represent an emerging generation of societal leadership, maintain some of the most dynamic social networks in a highly individualistic society, and are often open to new creativity and ideas.
There are two other groups that desperately need the attention of Christ’s church smply because we desire to reflect the heart of God. We want to join God in His mission. 3) Unreached people groups. There are still thousands of cultural groups around the world — and many of them represented by immigrant communities in North American cities — who have never heard the Gospel, have a Christian church that speaks their language, or even a genuine Christian friend. For instance, one research article recently reported that the majority of Muslims living in “the Bible Belt” in the U.S. have never had a Christian friend nor anyone explain the Gospel to them. 4) The urban poor. Whether or not a community is quickly receptive to the Gospel, there are millions upon millions of impoverished human beings trapped in systemic poverty, and God’ heart breaks for them. Therefore, our hearts must break for them as well. This certainly includes making disciples in impoverished communities that were once historically “Christianized.” It doesn’t take long reading our Bible to determine that this is simply God’s heart.
These priority areas are not meant to imply neglect of historical populations in a city. Rather just the opposite. By making disciples who in turn make disciples, strategic populations may become witnesses to those living among them. It is being aware of where God is at work and joining Him in His mission.