Tag Archives: ministry

GIC Recap


Over the last week of February we were invited to spend time with the church body of Shades Mountain Baptist Church during their Global Impact Celebration. Each year around this time, Shades brings in the different missionaries from all around the world that they support and partner with for a time of encouragement, care, and fellowship. There were missionaries from India, the Middle East, New York City Africa, Eastern Europe, Miami, and Birmingham, Alabama.


Throughout this conference, there are multiple services that encourage church members to get involved in missions anywhere and any way you can. One of the most impactful nights is called “Stories and Songs.” On this night, each missionary is given 60 seconds to share a quick glimpse of what the Lord is doing in their part of the world.

Check out our video below of Urban Purpose’s 60-second story on what the Lord is doing through our ministry.

Urban Purpose has been blessed to work alongside the staff and members of Shades Mountain Baptist Church as we go out to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. While our ends of the earth look extremely different than some, we know that God has created these people in His image and they are crying out for love and affection from someone. We, as believers, are called to be those people.



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Day 9: Starting at the Beginning

image1 (7)Today we helped one of our new friends finish the first steps in getting his birth certificate, social security card and ultimately his driver’s license. The reason this is such an important piece is because not much can happen in a person’s life without some form of identification. In most cases, one of the most pressing issues in a persons life is the need for a job. While for us this involves a good deal of driving around and waiting in lines, it’s good to be reminded that everyone has to start somewhere. There cannot be a race to complete without a starting point, and everyones starting point looks different!

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Day 4: What A Sunday


Yesterday at our weekly downtown meal, we were blown away by God’s goodness in bringing many people from all over the city to help serve. There were people of all different ages helping in whatever ways they could. We had families with young children to high schoolers and college students. This is such a great reminder for us that we are not in this alone and that there are so many people that God has given a heart for the broken, poor and needy in Birmingham. Jesus makes known that his church, the body of Christ, is made up of people with all  different kinds of spiritual gifts. Yesterday was a beautiful picture of Christ loving on and caring for a group of folks who get very little love

Urban Purpose has been extremely blessed with partnerships and support by many different people. We are always looking for new ways to bring more people into what God is doing in the lives of the homeless people we see on a weekly basis.  If you know of any churches, clubs, businesses, organizations, sports teams or anyone other groups who might be interested in volunteering, please send them our direction!


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Day One: Tough Conversations and Value Systems 

Yesterday ended with a tough conversation that we had to have with one of our guys. We’re trying to walk with him through the poor decision making that continues to happen day after day. It can be hard to continuously keep a positive outlook when everything around you seems dark and burdensome. One of the most important things we find is the set of values that differ from person to person. A big part in changing someone’s decision making process is looking at the set of values and seeing what can be altered. For example, our culture values money far more than we should. This has manifested itself into the lives of every person we have worked with. So the question is, how do we help them see that while money is a necessity, it’s not everything? 

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Daily Photo Challenge

Have you ever 30 dayswondered what Urban Purpose does on a daily basis? Are our days filled with meeting peoples needs, having meetings that revolve around coffee at Seeds, making incredibly tough and life altering decisions for people,  attempting to improve and better our strategy of working with the broken? The best answer is- Yes. All of these items are critical components of our work on a weekly basis.

For the next 30 days, our challenge is to give an in-depth look at just what exactly we do and how we do it. Follow us on this journey as we show the many ways God is moving among the people we’re working with.

IMG_6104This morning looks like cleaning up the office after busily making 100 snack packs for our friends downtown this past Sunday. Having these food items that can be saved for weeks to come are always beneficial for some people who will not know where there next meal is coming from. Keep following us on social media to check out where the rest of our day will be heading!

  • Instagram: urbanpurpose
  • Twitter: urbanpurpose
  • Facebook: Urban Purpose

A big, big thank you to Grandbridge Real Estate for providing all of these wonderful snacks that our friends were sure to enjoy.


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2014 Recap: Our Cup Runneth Over

When thinking through what all the Lord has taught us in 2014, there were a number of invaluable lessons learned. These next couple of weeks we are excited to share with you how the Lord has been shaping us to be more like Him

thank you note

In 2014, we are thankful that God has called all of his people to work as different parts of the body of Christ so that He may be most glorified. Over the years, God has brought an abundance of people to us with different gifts, talents and resources all with a desire to share the gospel within the city of Birmingham. If it were not for these people, Urban Purpose would not be thriving and growing and most importantly, sharing the gospel, as it has. While there are more people working with us than we can remember to thank, we thought we’d try anyways.

Thank you to the many, many families and individuals that have supported the ministry over the years financially and with tangible goods. By giving to our ministry you have been a crucial part in making an impact on in the lives of the broken and hurting. Whether this came from counseling appointments, furnishing apartments, clothing those in need, providing housing, helping with children, and a number of other necessities, these people know that they are loved because of your donations. You are ministering to these people in ways that you may never know and may never get to see, but we are eternally grateful for your constant support.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who have volunteered their time to show love to those who need it most. On Sunday’s when there is a line of people waiting for a hot meal, there are always people that are willing to serve with smiles on their faces. They have served in the rain, snow, blistering sun and mighty winds- nothing has held these volunteers back. The impact that a listening ear, a smile and a friendly conversation can have on these people is immeasurable.  From the ones we see weekly to the new faces we meet on Sunday, we are thankful for your sacrifice and desire to serve Jesus by serving others.

Thank you to our board members, who have seen, heard and felt all that goes on behind the scenes and in the daily grind of this ministry. Thank you for being a constant source of wisdom for business, financial, legal and ministerial needs. Thank you for your prayers for the three of us as we figure out how the Lord wants to lead us in doing His work. You are the backbone and the brains behind this ministry and Urban Purpose would not be standing here today without you.

Thank you so much to all of the ministries and businesses that have partnered with us over the years by helping us with sponsorships, jobs and reaching out to others. For the businesses that have hired our men and women as their employees and took a chance on someone who did not deserve it, we thank you for your commitment to show grace in the workplace. Thank you to the groups of people that have stood alongside our people as they go through the hurts and trials of this life. You have generously given your time and opened your homes, families and hearts to those that are in need. You never blink an eye when we’ve asked for you to go above and beyond what was asked of you. For this we thank you.

Lastly, but most importantly, we want to thank all of you that have been our prayer warriors. For we know that apart from him, we can do nothing.

I am the vine and you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Without all of you, and many more, the work that Urban Purpose has been given the privilege to do would not be possible. What we have realized more than anything is that it takes an army of people to reach the lost, and the Father has generously provided this again and again. This army of steadfast believers (to use a very overused saying) has been the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost and dying world. 

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Stories That Have Shaped Us: The Beginning

Sometimes it’s hard for us to explain what we do. Sure, it’s easy to say that we work with people of need and help them through the process of getting back on their feet. But it’s hard to convey all that goes into that. It’s easy to describe the practical things we do, but it can be difficult to describe the emotional investment that is involved and how that impacts us, our team of volunteers, and the people we work with.

So, we’re going to spend some time here on the blog telling you some stories…stories of things that have happened over the years that have impacted us and helped shape who we are and how we approach and think about things. We think this will be a good way for us to give you a deeper picture of what Urban Purpose is about.

For the first story, we thought it would be good to go back to the beginning…

In January of 2009, Jim and I (Mark) took a group of students from Shades to pass out blankets and coats downtown. We also took some hot chocolate, brownies, and hand warmers with us. This was the first time Jim and I had done anything together in downtown Birmingham. We had a pretty large group of homeless folks come to us that day.

One thing I distinctly remember about that day is that it was cold. I’m talking really cold. I was freezing. However, if you know Jim, you’re not surprised to hear that he was wearing shorts; shorts and a pair of hiking boots.

A few of the students needed to get back to their cars at the church, so I was going to take them back a little early. I wasn’t complaining about this because, like I said, I was freezing.

As I was wrapping up a conversation with a guy, I turned around and noticed something: Jim wasn’t wearing his boots. He was just standing there in the grass in his socks. And there was a homeless guy standing next to him holding the boots.

I knew it was on from that moment forward. Five years later, here we are and God has been so good to us. I’m thankful for Jim, his friendship, his heart, and the chance to go hard every day after what God has called us to do.

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