I recently read a book by Doug Saunders called Arrival City. He writes about the final great human migration. "A third of the world's population is on the move this century, from village to city, a move that began in earnest shortly after WWII, when South American and Middle Eastern villagers left their homes to build new enclaves on the urban outskirts." The bottom line is that the whole world is becoming urbanized. What the Western world has already done a century ago, the rest of the world will do this century. Stunning facts:
This raises a number of questions - sociological, economic, educational, etc. A few questions I ask: Will people's quality of life really improve in urban areas as opposed to rural villages (beyond economic measurements)? What will happen to rural cultures, values, and traditions? What will this do to families? And there are a million more.
A final question I wonder about. What will this do for the mission of the church? Cities are already centers of learning, culture, politics, and education. Will the church be able to influence cities with the gospel? Will the church care for massive influxes of urban dwellers? I currently have a college intern who speaks Spanish, whose father is Peruvian. As a college student, he is considering pastoral ministry. Could we pour into him here in St. Louis, and raise him up in order to send him out? To Sau Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, or Buenos Aires?