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What Is A "Ministry Center"?


  1. A church that changes its primary focus from the building and Sunday morning to 7-days-a-week discipleship and service.

  2. A place where the community finds food for both their bodies and souls rather than just a place to ‘hold church services’.

  3. An organization that forms alliances with other churches, charities and social agencies to be better stewards of time, energy and resources.

  4. A church where diversity, as at Pentecost, empowers people from all walks of life to find a spiritual home in their community.

  5. A church that recognizes it is God’s church more than “my church”, & boldly trusts God’s leadership.

  6. A church that surrenders control so that it may become a dynamic entity open to the workings of the Holy Spirit & daily divine intervention.

  7. An organization that is open to non-traditional opportunities and is willing to “think outside the box”, outside the walls and the offering plate.

  8. A church that redirects its energy from survival and maintenance to thriving and abundance (not “money”, but feeding 5,000 with two fish and five loaves).



The Rev. Bill Jenkins offers some advice for those contemplating the ministry center model:


Don’t Just Survive. Keeping the doors open is not an indication of vital ministry. Many dying urban churches find ways to prolong their existence while avoiding facing the reality of failure to connect with their changing neighborhood and culture.


It’s God’s church. We all form emotional attachments to our home church, but the building, traditions or rituals are never a substitute for genuine ministry.


Relinquish Control. Declining urban churches need to trust other groups to do what they do best without trying to control them.


Use the “Matthew 25 Model.” Have as many ministries focused around hunger, thirst (including spiritual thirst), clothing, wellness, prison and befriending strangers as possible.


Get Down and Dirty. There is no sanitized way of doing urban ministry or any ministry, for that matter. Expect that often those in greatest need may appear the least lovable.


Think Abundance, not Scarcity. Jesus took a few loaves and fishes to feed five thousand (just counting the men). There is an abundance of help out there being provided by churches, charities and social agencies but it needs to be coordinated.


Trust God. Urban ministries will always struggle to survive, much like those we are called to help. Revenues will come and go. Charities and congregations will, too. Anxiety is the opposite of faith.

The Ministry Center Model

Ministry Center Model

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