Lots of Great Urban Quotes

Kara Powell | Feb 11, 2011

Yesterday I helped host a webinar on urban ministry with staff from Youth For Christ. Dr. Michael Mata, who teaches in our FYI Urban Youth Ministry Certificate program, was the focus of the conversation. I had to arrive at my office at Fuller at 6:45 am for this 7 am webinar. It’s not often I see the golden glow of the sunrise on my office walls.

Michael, who is with World Vision, had SO many great insights about urban ministry. I’ll share some of the thoughts that hit me the most below (many of which we cover in our Certificate program, but I sure appreciate the reminders):

-Instead of focusing on helping kids fish, or teaching kids to fish, we need to help them own the pond.

-We shouldn’t pimp poverty in the way that we expose donors to our urban communities.

-Every community has a story. As we study and walk the community, we can read their story.

-In fact, every space has a story. My office, my house, my car all have stories.

-In many communities, those stories or narratives are negative. How can we help kids dream and then act to rewrite the narrative of their own communities?

-We need to look at communities and kids not as problems to be solved, but as places of great potential.

-What are the signs of hope and scraps of life in my community?

I actually did an “exegeting your community” walk in Pasadena two weeks ago. There is something powerful about walking several blocks in your community with others (in this case, it was my husband and a friend of ours) and listening, smelling, and looking. For those in urban communities, there are a lot more signs of hope and life than we might at first realize.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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