It’s easy to see the physical needs of Detroit. There are complex issues of fatherlessness, health, safety, and literacy. The typical inner-city list goes on and on. But some might ask, “Aren’t there enough churches in Detroit?”
It’s true that there are many churches in Detroit that faithfully preach the Gospel, but Detroit is a big place. Huge numbers of urban residents do not have transportation readily available to them and there is no church actively engaging their neighborhood. Many churches in the past decades, seeing the seemingly insurmountable issues surrounding them, have withdrawn from serving their local communities. Furthermore, the dearth of expository preaching and biblically- sound, Reformed, teaching is stark as one surveys the churches of Detroit.
As an urban, Reformed church this work would be highly committed to a cultural contextualized confessionalism, to the ministry Word and sacrament, and to the ordinary means grace properly administered according to the Westminster Standards. Furthermore, there is a gaping generational chasm in the African American Church between the Soul generation and the Hip-hop generation that most churches have not been able to bridge. Therefore there is a huge population of those under 40 who rarely ever attend a church in Detroit. This younger generation also often doesn’t feel as comfortable in the traditional African American Church both due to style and due to its strong familial ties or long standing relationships. Mega-churches in Detroit often emphasize outward personal holiness as a prerequisite for attendance, further alienating the un-churched. Thus
it could be said that the entire dominant culture-group in the city is a largely unreached mission field.
Lastly, because literacy rates are so low, there are many who cannot access God’s Word in written form. This has allowed for numerous un-Biblical versions of “church” to grow in Detroit. Overall, the situation provides a unique opportunity for Christ’s ambassadors to go forward and engage both the tangible and spiritual necessities of a very needy population for God’s glory. This new church would focus on bolstering the education deficit both generally and biblically.