Monday, March 31, 2014

Why you should consider doing the Urban Ministry Program reason 5

Reason 5: You won't lose your missionary power doing it. We've all seen people who used to have a strong London accent and wear a tracksuit, go off to Bible college only to come back with a more posh accent, chinos, and much worse at communicating to people on their estate. This isn't just a London problem though, its happened to people from estates around the country, and its also happened overseas. In the book 'Bruchko', some Indians reject Christianity because the Indian converts start to wear suits, and seem to no longer respect their culture. Roland Allen also wrote about converts going back to England for Theological Training, and then losing their effectiveness to reach their own kind of people. Bavinck, also wrote about local people losing their 'missionary power' when they were discipled by foreign missionaries. The Urban Ministry Program is aware of this, and so it is intentionally taught from a council estate perspective, and we intentionally recruit working class, urban and ethnic minority students. We also recruit middle class students, because we want a mix of people from different backgrounds. However, if anything, we want more working class students, because we don't want local people losing their missionary power to reach their neighbours, friends and family. So if you're working class or from a minority culture and worried about losing your missionary power at Bible College, why not consider the UMP? If you're middle class, and want to study in an environment that helps you to even better understand the working classes and minority groups, why not consider doing the UMP? For more information please go to

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Urban Catechism & Children

We train people to use the Urban Catechism on the Urban Ministry Program

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why you should consider doing the Urban Ministry Program: Reason 4

Reason 4: Being encouraged by like minded practitioners

Well all need friendships and encouragement to do gospel work. This is particularly noticeable in inner city areas and housing estates where there are not so many brothers in arms. Whilst we might have friends in other contexts, at times we feel misunderstood about some of the unique problems we face. The UMP however brings together a variety of different people who not only love Jesus, but also work in the urban context. The individual contexts will vary, but there will still be huge similarities.
One student this year commented on how the 1 day a week he spends at the UMP training centre, gives him the fellowship and encouragement he needs to do church planting the rest of the week.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions about the Urban Ministry Program

How do I apply?
Please email Jaz for an application form at
The deadline for applications is Friday 4th April 2014. We cannot guarantee processing applications after this date, but would still like to hear from you if you have missed this.

If I apply am I committed to the course?
No, if you send in an application there are further steps in the process for you to get a place. Once we have offered you a place, you have the opportunity to confirm or decline in June 2014. We would suggest that if you are interested, you apply, you can always change your mind later.

Where are the Training centres?
We are currently setting up training centres in London, Leeds, and Brighton, where people can travel to one day a week. This year we had someone travel from Middlesbrough to London each week. We hope that each year we can set up more centres so that people don’t have to travel so far! If you do the course, you could become a future facilitator in your location in the future.

How will the UMP affect my schedule?
This depends if you are applying for the full or half schedule.

Full Schedule
·    One day a week training at your training centre during term-time.
·    Homework each week

Half Schedule
·   One evening/week, and one Saturday/month during term time at your training centre.
·   Homework each week

How much homework is there?

Full schedule
1) Individual homework: up to 30mins a week for reading (over your notes, and occasionally a short article, or a bible chapter in preparation for class).
Group homework: Students will also meet in Church groups (provided there is more than one student from your church doing the UMP) to do group homework. You will need 2hrs/week for this.
2) Assignments:
  • Taking someone through the Urban Catechism: 90min/week, for 13-17 weeks
  • Bible Teaching Assignment: Approx 4hrs/week for 7 weeks.
  • Mission Assignment roughly 3hrs/week for 5 weeks.

Half Schedule
1)Individual homework: up to 20mins a week for reading over notes, and occasionally a short article, or a bible chapter in preparation for class.
Group homework: Homework should take around 1hr/week on average.
  • Taking someone through the Urban Catechism: 90min/week, for 13-17 weeks
  • Year 2, the Bible Teaching Assignment: 20-30hours in total, spread across a minimum of 14 weeks (you won’t have any group homework during this time)
  • Year 2, Mission Assignment: approx. 1½ hrs/week spread over 10 weeks.

What if no-one else from my location is doing the course?
In some rare cases, we will arrange for you to do the group homework on your own (or a with a friend) and have a homework-buddy from another location contact you regularly so that you don’t feel totally on your own. Please email Jaz about this at

What is the format of lessons?
Lessons will be facilitated by experienced Urban Church planters. Facilitators will use videos, class discussion, group-work and detailed hand-outs to cater to a variety of learning styles. You will benefit from exposure to both Duncan’s teaching videos and the knowledge and experience of your facilitator.

Are there any church based activities I’ll need to be involved in?
You need to be serving in some capacity in your local church. The extent of that service will be decided between you and your church leadership.
We also suggest you work out with your leaders if you should be doing any further studying/discipleship with your church. For example at New Life Church full schedule students do the McCheyne reading plan and prepare bible book introductions each week for the rest of the group. We also study Christian counselling and have Christian book discussions. These things are not required for the UMP but you and your leaders may find them beneficial.

What will I be studying?
The first module is ‘Doctrine and Discipleship’, where you’ll go through all 3 parts of the Urban Catechism. The second module is ‘The Bible in the Urban Context’ where we cover Biblical Theology, Exegesis, and Teaching the Bible. The third module is ‘Urban Mission’ which focuses on the church’s mission in the urban context.
For more information on the topics you will be covering, please see your information pack’s 'modules' section. If you don't have an information pack, please ask Jaz for one ( We also provide a brief summary of the modules at

How much will the UMP cost?
The total course costs a £1200. You will be required to pay a deposit of £50 in July if you have decided you definitely want to do the course.
For half schedule students, that’s £600/year, which can be paid in termly instalments of £200.

If you have any more questions that aren’t covered here, please contact Jaz at

Reaching The Unreached conference info

Last years RTU conference was a wonderful time of meeting with like minded brothers and sisters and sharing the new vision of Reaching the Unreached:

Herre's one of the worship songs that was very popular at the conference:

Here's a reminder of our vision for the future of RTU:

A movement of gospel centered grass roots churches on estates around the UK’. 

Here's our mission of how we can get there:

‘Linking and Training.’ 

So that we can link and train people effectively, we decided that its best to run the conference bi-annually (every other year) rather than every year. This is so that we don't end up spending all our energy on planning conferences, instead of growing a fruitful network.

So there won't be a RTU conference this year, but Lord willing there will be one in 2015.

In the meantime, here's something we've been working on in the last year, a training program for people who want to do gospel work on estates and deprived areas, The Urban Ministry Program:

Why you should consider doing the Urban Ministry Program: Reason 3

Reason 3: We teach mission from a specifically urban point of view.

a) A Biblical Theology of mission. 
Its really important that our idea of mission comes from the Bible, rather than our own preconceived ideas. On the UMP we follow themes of mission throughout the Old and New Testaments to help us understand what the church's mission is.

b) Applying Missionary techniques to the urban context:
For years the UK has sent missionaries to other countries. Many of these missionaries have used common missionary principles to reach other people groups. Sadly, in the UK, we often send out workers without training them in missionary principles. Whilst there is an increased interested in urban church plants lately, there is not much emphasis on using cross-cultural missionary principles to reach urban areas. On the UMP we look at how missionary methods can be employed in urban communities in the UK.

For more information please check out
Or contact Jaz on

Friday, March 21, 2014

Why you should consider doing the Urban Ministry Program: Reason 2

2: It thoroughly equips you to handle the Bible in the urban context:
The best tangible tool we have for ministering to people in deprived communities is God's word. God used four different gospel writers to communicate the gospel to different contexts. Unfortunately in the UK, a lot of Bible teaching is taught in a very academic way, and communicated with a middle class style. We believe the middle classes need to be reached with the gospel, but we also want to see people from other backgrounds hear the bible taught in a way they can understand.

On the UMP we study Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, Exegesis, and how to Teach the Bible. All these classes are rigorous, but taught in a non-academic way. This year we have had a variety of students, some with very few qualifications from school, and some with degrees - the course is aimed to  reach all of them.

When it comes to teaching the Bible we provide a system of teaching that we feel is particularly appropriate for housing estates. At the same time, we provide tools and not rules. This means that by the end of the course, you have a tool belt with which you can work out how best to teach the Bible in your own context. It is our hope that through the UMP we will see a new generation of urban preaching.

For more information please check out our website

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why you should consider applying for the Urban Ministry Program: Reason 1

1. If you want to make disciples who will make disciples in the urban context, the UMP will help you do this.
Many people have questioned me over the years about how to disciple people on estates. Often people admit to having big hearts, but little understanding of how to disciple people in the urban context. Sometimes people have tried using resources that were designed for a different context, and when its failed, they've concluded that the soil is too hard. Others realise that its not so much the soil, but the tools. Some realise its a bit of both ;)

On the UMP we will take you through a resource that was designed from the ground up for urban discipleship, 'The Urban Catechism.' Like other catechisms, this is a system of instructing someone in the faith. Unlike other catechism, this one includes application questions and prayer. Furthermore, the catechism maps out the spiritual journey of your average council estate Christian. So we're prepared for the questions and problems that tend to come up.

As a UMP student, you will firstly be taken through the catechism (and its more in-depth 'Teacher's Guide'), which will involve you dealing with the issues of your own heart and responding in confession, repentance and prayer.

Secondly, you will take someone else through the catechism, discipling them through the same process you have already been through. By God's grace that person will then go on to catechism someone else in their neighbourhood.

The end result is that you will feel equipped to make a disciple from scratch in the urban context.

DISCLAIMER: None of this works without the Holy Spirit.

For more information, please check out

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A tribute to a great Council Estate Christian: Hilda Iddiols 11/08/1915 - 21/12/2013

We all stand on the shoulders of others, and would not be where we were today, if it were not for all the contributions others have made to our lives over the years.

Hilda Iddiols was a women who gave a massive contribution to my life. Born into a single parent family on the 6th story of a high block of flats, I was a very troubled child. But there was an couple on the estate in their 60’s called Bill and Hilda. Bill and Hilda were like tent pegs to me and my mum. They provided a stability that we seriously lacked. Hilda would often come round and spend a lot of time with my mum, helping her. She would baby sit for me so that my Mum could sometimes get out of the flat. Me and my Mum would go to Bill and Hilda’s and enjoy the calm there, and I would happily stay there for hours.

Bill and Hilda were Christians, and you could tell it in the way they lived their lives. I always felt safe when I was round their flat. But Bill and Hilda were never patronising or condescending to us. They never treated us like we were basket cases, they treated us as brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact Hilda would often encourage me and my mum with how much she saw God working in our lives. Hilda also acted like a mother to my Mum, and a grandmother to me. I didn’t have grandparents, but I always took comfort in the fact that I had Bill and Hilda.

One of the local churches had advised my Mum to put me up for adoption, they warned her that I wouldn’t turn out good. Hilda took a different approach, she prayed for me, and she involved me and my mum in her life. I remember going with her to her sister Grace’s place and being asked to read the Bible to them. I remember going to Richmond park with them and just hanging out. I remember Hilda visiting my school plays etc.

I also remember having lots of conversations with Hilda about Jesus. It was just natural to talk to her about God, and what he was doing in our lives. She was our friend, and we all knew Jesus, and so we would talk about him in every conversation.

Bill and Hilda were also a wonderful example of marriage. I was so used to seeing them together that I would even confuse their names and sometimes say, ‘Hill and Builda’. Until Hilda’s passing they were married for 70 years.

My mum says that she wonders how I would have turned out if it weren’t for Hilda. Would the nay-sayers have been correct that my Mum should have put me up for adoption? Would I be a Christian today? Would I have started New Life Church on our estate? Would the Urban Ministry Program exist? Who knows, but I am confident that God put Hilda in my life for many reasons, and that I have benefitted in so many ways.

Two years ago at age 96, I asked Hilda how she felt about going to see Jesus soon. Her eyes brightened, and with a surge of energy and happiness, she said, ‘I can’t wait!’ I myself can’t wait to meet her again in heaven, where she is no longer in pain, and enjoying seeing Jesus face to face every day.

Thank you God for Hilda.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Urban Ministry Program

The Urban Ministry Program aims to make disciples who make disciples in the urban context. We started this program in September, and here are some of the thoughts from students who have completed term 1. You can find more information on the course at