FAQ: What is urban missions?


What is the mission of BridgeBuilders? What does it mean to be an “urban missionary organization?” Let’s start with our mission statement: BridgeBuilders is an urban missionary organization that mobilizes the Body of Christ to alleviate poverty and promote flourishing communities.

There is a lot to unpack and digest from that, but let’s just tackle the beginning: BridgeBuilders is an urban missionary organization. So what does it mean to be an urban missionary organization?

From the Church’s earliest days, missionaries were sent into areas which needed the gospel, in order both to teach about Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins and address the issues which sin had created.

For instance, the missionary journeys of Paul resulted in the preaching of the gospel, churches being planted, as well as letters written to those churches instructing them how to operate and how to live in relationship with God and each other (which would later become part of the New Testament writings!).

Willie Charles
Willie Charles

Missionaries as we see them today do similar work in our modern context. Missionaries go into areas impacted by sin, proclaim the gospel, raise up leadership, train them, and leave them empowered to oversee the work of Christ in that area.

Now for me, someone who grew up in church, missionaries were always overseas. I remember annual visits from missionaries we supported in India, China, Guatemala, you get the idea.

But as I grew up and experienced more of the work of the Church, it became clear that missions don’t just occur internationally, but locally - right across the street or the city. And this is what BridgeBuilders specializes in: local missions in an urban setting.

Much like international missionaries, or even the missionaries of the New Testament, BridgeBuilders carries the gospel into areas broken by sin, presents the saving grace that comes through Jesus’ sacrifice, and then works to help repair that which has been broken by sin, all while raising up leadership who can continue the work well after the missionaries leave.

Our context for missions is poverty. We see the pervasive poverty in Dallas, and desire to bring the hope of the gospel of Jesus into these areas which, like all of us, desperately need forgiveness and reconciliation, with God, self, others, and creation.

This is what it means to be an urban missionary organization, and we are excited to say that we are just getting started!