Is God Calling You to Urban Missions?
Hilltop is an exciting place to engage in urban missions. Every week we hear stories of life change. We are constantly seeing new leaders emerge from the community, and seeing our present leaders grow in effectiveness. There is a great sense of loving family within the church that crosses racial lines and, even more impressive, the lines between affluent and poor. And because of what God has been teaching us, Hilltop is a great place to do ministry with the urban poor in ways that truly empower them rather than perpetuate dependency.
The Important Place of Cross-Cultural Ministry Partners at Hilltop
We are by design an oral culture* church—a church of, by, and for the urban poor. There are very important roles for cross-cultural ministry partners to play, but being clear about those roles is essential to maintaining the oral culture DNA that is empowering our oral culture leaders to grow and thrive.
With rare exceptions, all our ministry teams and house churches are led by oral culture leaders—people from the culture of poverty. This principle has been the heart of our leadership development process that has been so powerful, and it has made us far more effective at connecting with our neighbors.
There are four specific ways cross-cultural ministry partners (print culture* or bicultural* Christians) can contribute at Hilltop.
a. By serving on a ministry team under the direction of an oral culture leader.
b. By serving with an oral culture leader as the co-leader of a ministry team or house church. When serving as a co-leader, the wise cross-cultural ministry partner will look to the oral culture leader for guidance on how best to do ministry in culturally appropriate ways.
c. By coaching oral culture leaders. Some cross-cultural ministry partners can empower oral culture leaders through mentoring.
d. By jump-starting a new ministry then handing it off to oral culture leaders. Occasionally, print culture leaders may launch a ministry or house church, and then identify indigenous leaders to whom they can hand it off within a few months.
In short, the kind of cross-cultural ministry partners Hilltop needs are not those who want to do ministry for the urban poor, but rather who would love to do ministry with the urban poor and, especially, to empower the urban poor to thrive as ministry leaders. If this kind of ministry would give you joy, we’d love to talk with you!