For the last few years, church planters influenced by Redeemer City to City in African cities have expressed a desire to connect with other planters on the continent who share a vision to see their cities impacted by the gospel, and to multiply churches. In early March, 14 of these planters took a step in that direction when they met in Pretoria, South Africa. The gathering explored the idea of creating a trans-denominational network of indigenous African church planters working in the leading cities of the continent. These planters represented a variety of African cities including Antananarivo, Bukavu, Cape Town, Durban, Kigali, Lagos, Nairobi, and Pretoria.
They concluded there would be great value in such a network and have chosen to call it “City to City Africa,” highlighting the idea of a peer-to-peer network focused on urban gospel ministry. In the early stages, the network will serve churches and leaders in any number of denominations or tight networks seeking to encourage existing planters, connect them to others locally and across the continent attempting similar work, embolden existing churches in their church planting endeavors, and help set up systems to identify, recruit, train and mentor new planters. The network will connect church leaders to both training and funding in order to bring these new churches to fruition. Soon, we hope to establish five to ten regional training centers to deliver contextualized, gospel centered church planting training.
Based on Africa’s overall rates of urbanization and population growth, the continent’s cities are likely to double, or even triple, in the next twenty to thirty years. As big cities are filled to the brim with young people, the Church is ill-prepared to meet the challenges of such exponential growth. Some estimates indicate as much as 75% of the population in African cities will be under the age of twenty by 2035. By 2050 they will represent almost 30% of the globe's youth. The soil is fertile in these cities for evangelism and church planting. It is our dream that the Lord might use City to City Africa, along with other gospel oriented ministries and churches, to populate these cities with churches that will effectively communicate the historic Christian gospel and make the effects of that gospel visible in their communities. Please pray for the Lord's hand on this exciting endeavor.