As a Mission Canada urban worker, I have the privilege of representing Jesus in the core of the city and making Him known to people who live or work in the urban hub. I love what I do!
As I reflect, the 2023 spring season was filled with wonderful opportunities. They included building trusted relationships with families without connection to Christ or the local church, completing my degree in Ministry Leadership from Horizon College & Seminary, and participating in the Our City Conference in Toronto.
Some startling facts were noted at the conference, such as the increase in Canada’s suicide rate over the past two years. We are also seeing more children with an identity crisis in our schools, higher dropout rates in secondary schools, and people who desperately need good and godly role models and mentors.
Being part of the solution involves taking preventive action by reaching out to our young generation, offering the gift of friendship, and being present in the lives of others in meaningful and tangible ways. As urban workers, we are seeing the need to bring back “the village” and create environments where individuals are cared for. Many feel lonely or isolated, and long to feel loved and socially connected with others. There are those who struggle to work through trauma and the pain of past hurts and disappointments. I always ask myself how I would feel if I were in their shoes and without Christ.
Providing food or preparing a warm meal is a wonderful way to build relationships and create a lifestyle and environment where everyone is welcome at the table. Romans 12:13 encourages Christians to share with the Lord’s people who are in need and to be open-hearted, exercising hospitality. Hospitality was one of the highest ancient social values during the first century, which meant providing for strangers and welcoming them into your home.1 The ancient obligation of Israel was to care for the disadvantaged within the wider community, and I believe it is still God’s will for us today.2
The most influential witness happens corporately, when many who share passion for God and ministry partner with one another to help bridge the gaps that churches are not able to reach.
I learned that nearly 75 per cent of people living in Canada reside in cities.3 It is important to understand the culture and dynamics of your city, and to be a light within your occupation or profession, where God exercises His power and grace.4 One strategy to help reach people with the gospel is to train and equip believers for their calling in the public sector, where they can use their giftings to lead others in living out the ways of Christ. In my urban work, I have offered support and prayer over the phone, made visits to homes and hospitals, had one-on-one lunches, connected people with helpful resources in the city, and delivered essential items to those who were in need. Individuals have visited me at “the office” (a space I have been blessed with in a local PAOC church). Those visits provide a safe place for people to share burdens and struggles and allow us to pray together, trusting God to meet them in real and special ways. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is life-giving for those needing hope and the Good News of Christ. It is a privilege to co-facilitate discipleship classes through The Zoe Network, an environment where men and women are empowered through biblical principles, discover who they are in Christ, and find out how they can use their spiritual gifts to move forward into God’s mission.
Scripture teaches us in Psalm 82:3-4 that it is our mission to care for the poor and the fatherless and to defend the helpless or those who are weak. Love in action is the constructing power that shapes the life of a believer and is to be expressed to people in the church body as well as in the secular world.5 My commitment is to fight against injustice and work towards personal habits of love, compassion, mercy, empathy and selfless giving. It is imperative that I engage in lifelong spiritual formation by meditating on the Word of God daily, being proactive in prayer, and being self-aware concerning my well-being.
Why has God called me into urban ministry? As we say in Mission Canada … Because we must! The “must” is the fact that in 2021, about 12.6 million people, or one-third of the Canadian population, cited no religious affiliation.6 As Christ’s followers, God’s Word and His ways must be communicated to those who do not know or have not yet heard them. I am thankful for God’s call on my life to do His work. Let me ask, “How is He calling you?”
Anna Morgante is a Mission Canada urban worker reaching the next generation and their families in the core of Winnipeg, Man. Discover more about our Mission Canada workers at https://paoc.org/canada/workers.
This article appeared in the July/August/September 2023 issue of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. © 2023 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Photo © Mission Canada: Anna Morgante distributing backpacks.
- Craig S. Keener, A New Covenant Commentary (Oregon: Cascade Books, 2009), 148.
- James D. G. Dunn, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 38B, Romans 9-16 (Grand Rapids, MI: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1988), 754.
- “Canada’s large urban centres continue to grow and spread,” Statistics Canada, accessed May 3, 2023, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220209/dq220209b-eng.htm.
- Michael W. Goheen, Introducing, Christian Mission Today: Theology, History and Issues (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014), 387.
- Paul J. Achtemeier, Romans Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1986), 201.
- “The Canadian census: A rich portrait of the country's religious and ethnocultural diversity,” Statistics Canada, accessed June 12, 2023, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/221026/dq221026b-eng.htm.