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Urban Church ImaginedReligion, Race, and Authenticity in the City$
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Jessica M. Barron and Rhys Williams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479877669

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479877669.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

City Jesus

City Jesus

(p.23) 1 City Jesus
Urban Church Imagined

Jessica M. Barron

Rhys H. Williams

NYU Press

This chapter presents a fuller history of Downtown Church and its organizational structure. Intertwined with this is a more in-depth exploration of the congregation’s goals, its marketing plans and target members, and the implicit conception used by the leadership to understand “the city.” The extent to which these are aligned with popular culture and a culture of affluent consumption is presented and analyzed. Along with cultural consumption, the association between the city and ethno-racial and cultural diversity is also explored—specifically, the efforts by church leaders to distinguish themselves as a downtown church and not an inner-city church in their efforts to become an authentic member of the Chicago urban scene.

Keywords:   organizational structure, cultural consumption, target members, marketing plans, diversity

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