WHITE, ELLEN GOULD HARMON, 1827-1915.
While there are already a few excellent compilations of Ellen White’s writings on evangelism, Ministry to the Cities is a welcome addition. According to the World Health Organization, two out of every ten people lived in an urban area at the turn of the twentieth century. It took only eight decades for that proportion to double. As of last reckoning in 2010 over half of the world population were city dwellers. As it is, and with this pattern of growth expected to double, it is difficult to underestimate the timeliness of this book.
Curated not only from articles, books and pamphlets of Ellen White, but also from duly referenced letters and unpublished manuscripts, this compilation outlines an essential work for this time. Lessons from scripture regarding city evangelism and a focus on its challenges seem to be the main themes that run through these pages.
A hundred years ago Ellen White viewed the involvement of numerous workers in city ministry as a must. Topics in the volume include everything from how to nurture and train workers to how to plant churches in the cities. This might not be a comprehensive compilation, but it is highly representative of Ellen White’s counsel regarding the work in urban areas.
I recommend this book to everyone, especially anyone set on country living. To be sure, Ellen White repeatedly recommended rural areas as generally more desirable locations to establish a home and church institutions. What this title does is to balance that view with the necessity to reach out to urban populations in intentional and ambitious ways. There is work that needs to be done in God’s different vineyards.