Christian ministries increasingly prioritize urban areas—big cities and suburbs are considered more strategic, more influential, and more desirable places to live and work. As a ministry strategy, focusing on big places makes sense. But the gospel of Jesus is often unstrategic. Filled with helpful stories and practical advice, pastor Stephen Witmer lays out an integrated theological vision for small-place ministry today.
It can be easy to overlook the poor and homeless. But truly seeing leads us to act with compassion and justice. Sharing personal encounters and real-life stories, Terence Lester calls us to see the invisible people around us through God's eyes, restoring their dignity and helping them flourish. And when we recognize our own inner spiritual poverty, we have greater empathy for others, no matter their circumstances.
We need a bigger vision for the city. Pastors Neil Powell and John James contend that to truly transform a city, the gospel compels us to create localized, collaborative church planting movements. The more willing we are to collaborate across denominations and networks, the more effectively we will reach our communities—whatever their size—for Jesus.
Is privilege real or imagined? Ken Wytsma, founder of the Justice Conference, unpacks what we need to know to be grounded in conversations about today's race-related issues. And he helps us come to a deeper understanding of both the origins of these issues and the reconciling role we are called to play as witnesses of the gospel.
Jesus' command is clear: we are called to feed all of God's children. But is that possible? Bringing together activists, politicians, scientists, pastors, theologians, and artists, this is a comprehensive picture of the current situation with the latest facts and figures, compelling stories both from those fighting against hunger and from the hungry themselves, and clear steps for action by individuals, families, churches, and communities.
Despite the current evangelical focus on justice work, evangelical theologians have not adequately developed a theological foundation for this activism. In this insightful resource, evangelical academics, activists, and pastors come together to survey the history and outlines of liberation theology, opening a conversation for developing a specifically evangelical view of liberation that speaks to the critical justice issues of our time.
Is a church just something we create to serve our purposes or to maintain old traditions? Or is it something more vital, more meaningful, and more powerful? In this introduction to the nature of the local church, historian and missionary Scott Sunquist brings us a portrait of the church in motion, clarifying the two primary purposes of the church: worship and witness.
Reverend Harry "OG Rev." Williams from Oakland, California, is called to the streets: to the hungry, homeless, addicted, incarcerated, and vulnerable. Bringing us face-to-face with both the injustices that plague our cities and the gospel of compassion that offers hope to the downtrodden, this introduction to urban ministry will inspire and equip a new generation to bring the life-giving good news of Jesus to our cities.
How can pastors thrive amid the demands of being preacher, therapist, administrator, and CEO? We need a contemporary pastoral rule: a pattern for ministry that encourages and enables pastors to focus on what is most important in their pastoral task. Written by three veteran pastors, this book gives examples of pastoral rules in communities throughout the church's history, providing concrete advice on how pastors can develop and keep a pastoral rule today.
How should the local church think about justice? Adam Gustine provides a theological vision for the church's identity as a just people, where God's character and the pursuit of shalom infuses every aspect of our congregational DNA. In this renewed vision, the church becomes a prophetic alternative to the broken systems of the world and a parable of God's intentions for human flourishing and societal transformation.
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