excerpts from the book, For The City by Matt Carter & Darrin Patrick
What Makes a Great Church?
Youâ€™ll hear from Matt as he describes his conversion from a sheltered, church-going boy to a sold-out, gospel-loving man surrendered to Godâ€™s call to plant a church in a diverse, artistic, and just plain weird city like Austin, Texas.
Youâ€™ll also hear from Darrin, who was plucked from a life of drug and alcohol abuse and boundary-less sexual relationships because God had plans for his life that included planting a church in a racially divided, working-class, rust-belt city like St. Louis, Missouri.
In this book we will explore what it means to be a church for the city God has called you to engage…
Gospel-Centered City Ministry
I replied, â€œYou want a model? Hereâ€™s it is.â€
â€œImagine an urban church so influenced by the power of the gospel that it seized every opportunity to proclaim and live out the gospel for the good of the city. Imagine that this church physically and spiritually served the poorest of the poor, but also lovingly rebuked the wealthy. Imagine this church as the epicenter of straight-up, God-fearing, Spirit-filled revival, leading thousands of people to eternal life in Christ in just a few years. Imagine a church that built elderly housing, housed all the orphans in the city, and taught wealthy business people to have a â€˜double bottom lineâ€™ so they could run a profitable business in order to support the work of the church and meet the needs of the city…
It got to the point that if Metropolitan Tabernacle had shut down at any point during that decade of grappling with the problems of the Industrial Revolution, the city of London would have been crippled. They would have grieved the loss of the Tabernacle. Can you imagine serving the needs of the city, being so attuned to the common good for the sake of the gospel, that your city would grieve if you picked up and left?
Seeking the Welfare of the City
In Jeremiah 29, many of the people of Judah are exiles in Babylon, the capital city of their enemies. The Lord comes to his people through the pen of Jeremiah and says, â€œSeek the shalom of your enemies. Seek the welfare of your captors. Sink down roots. Build houses. Plant gardens and eat. Take wives and have children. Give yourself to the prosperity of your captors in Babylon and you will have prosperityâ€ (see Jer. 29:4â€“9)…By seeking the shalom of the city, God was asking those in Babylonian captivity to live and invest in the midst of the social and cultural world of their enemies, encouraging and supporting the goodness and enjoyment of life by creating shalom in every niche of society…
We’re giving away 10 copies of Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter’s new book, For the City! This is the story of two pastors whose hearts were gripped by the need for a church in the inner core of their cities. It outlines a gospel-centered missional approach to planting churches that can lead to city renewal and restoration.
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