How can the people of God develop churches in ways that help and don't hurt poor neighborhoods? In urban ministry, Christians too often treat the poor as goodwill projects instead of people. Because of this mindset, many remain unchurched. Healthy, local, urban churches are needed because they combine personal empowerment and community transformation.
Every poor neighborhood needs uncommon churches that will seek the common good of their communities. Alvin Sanders engages hard truths about these neighborhoods and provides a model for how to do ministry in difficult conditions. The local, urban church is the key to community transformation, as it plays three crucial roles of empowering, partnering, and reaching.
Pastors and church planters interested in Christian community development will find here practical insights into the power of the local church, which is often underrated. Churches can serve their communities and improve the quality of life of every facet of the neighborhood.
"Alvin Sanders has spent years as an urban church planter, public theologian, denominational executive, and urban missions leader. He has a deep passion for the church, racial reconciliation, and the empowerment of indigenous urban leaders. This book provides transformative insights for a church that can serve as a force for kingdom advancement in the city. Allow this resource to challenge you, change you, and equip you so that you might serve God's mission for our cities."
Foreword by Efrem Smith
Part One: Uncommon Church
1. Advocacy Is Not Enough
2. What Would Jesus Do? Poverty Is a Condition, Not an Identity
3. Jesus Did, Not Jesus Would: Jesus and the Condition of Poverty
4. The People of God: God's Plan for a Broken World
5. Doing Healthy Church: Seven Habits Toward Spiritual Maturity
Part Two: Seeking the Common Good
6. Faith and Works: Eliminating the Tension Between Evangelism and Justice
7. There Goes the Neighborhood: Understanding the Powers That Be
8. Championing the Community: Empowering Grassroots Leaders and Workers
9. Chasing Wild Dreams: Examples of Faith, Hope, and Love in Action
10. The Kingdom Is in Us