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Today many pastors are struggling to adapt to a post-Christian culture without abandoning orthodox theology. How do we communicate the concepts of grace and substitutionary atonement in our globalized culture and context? In Center Church, Timothy Keller offers challenging insights and provocative questions based on over twenty years of ministry in New York City. This book outlines a theological vision for ministry - applying classic doctrines to our time and place - organized around three core commitments: • Gospel-centered: The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ changes everything, from our hearts to our community to the world. It completely reshapes the content, tone and strategy of all that we do. • City-centered: With a positive approach toward our culture, we learn to affirm that cities are wonderful, strategic and underserved places for gospel ministry. • Movement-centered: Instead of building our own tribe, we seek the prosperity and peace of our community as we are led by the Holy Spirit. "In this important book, Tim Keller unpacks the gospel and gently but firmly reminds us that it is nonnegotiable. At the same time, he enables us to think through how we can responsibly interact with the culture, how we can - indeed, must - appreciate good things within it, and how we can firmly and faithfully apply the gospel to it." - D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
We live in a unique moment in history. Right now, more people live in urban centers than ever before. This means that we have an unprecedented opportunity to influence the majority of the world through the church in the city. Helping us to make the most of this moment, urban pastors Justin Buzzard and Stephen Um lay out a compelling vision for cultural engagement and church planting in our world’s cities. If you’re looking for motivation to maintain a commitment to the city or for guidance as you consider going all in, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of urban life that informs, instructs, inspires, and answers questions including: Why cities are so important What the Bible says about cities How to overcome common issues and develop a plan for living missionally in the city Instead of retreating from or taking from our cities, here is a call to make the cities our home, to take good care of them, and to participate in God’s kingdom-building work in the urban centers of our world.
In this Gospel Coalition booklet, D. A. Carson and Timothy Keller recount the origins of the Gospel Coalition and the purpose for which it was formed: to propagate a robust understanding of the gospel’s content and to encourage gospel-centered ministry. Carson and Keller, founders of the coalition and editors of the booklet series, form a theological foundation for the organization’s mission and detail a vision for ministry in a changing world. Ministry today must entail both Bible-centered preaching as well as outreach to the needy. Grounding their vision in the cross, Carson and Keller show how biblical theology flows toward Jesus and the gospel. They also demonstrate how Christian ministry flows from Jesus and the gospel. This summary of gospel-centered ministry is a great resource for pastors and others interested in the Gospel Coalition. Gospel-Centered Ministry offers a thoughtful explanation for the Gospel Coalition’s confessional statement. The Gospel Coalition is an evangelical renewal movement dedicated to a scripture-based reformation of ministry practices.
Why is the city a battleground of hostile principalities and powers? What is the mission of the church in the city? How can the church be supported in accomplishing that mission? These are the questions that Robert Linthicum treats in his comprehensive and probing biblical theology of the city. In the Bible the city is depicted both as a dwelling place of God and his people and as a center of power for Satan and his minions. The city is one primary stage on which the drama of salvation is played out. And that is no less the case at the end of this pivotal century as megacities become the focal point of most human activity and aspirations around the world. This is a timely theology of the city that weaves the theological images of the Bible and the social realities of the contemporary world into a revealing tapestry of truths about the urban experience. Its purpose is to define clearly the mission of the church in the midst of the urban realities and to support well the work of the church in the urban world.
In order to help pastors and other Christian leaders to lovingly lead God’s flock to Jesus Christ and into God’s mission, Scott Thomas and Tom Wood clarify a process of coaching and shepherding that is rooted in the patterns of the Good Shepherd himself, a process in which leaders stir up the gifts, passion, and calling upon others’ lives. This book addresses the needs of the leader, his or her sinful tendencies, and church leadership issues. It directs the leader to the person and work of Jesus. It provides a system to intentionally shepherd leaders to glorify God in their personal, spiritual, and missional lives. Many ministry leaders serving in churches find themselves overwhelmed, disillusioned, and depressed by the enormous and challenging task of leading and ministering in a congregation. As a result, the ministry suffers, the leaders suffer, and the result is often an unhealthy church existent with little or no Gospel influence. These leaders need someone to shepherd their soul so that they can lead others to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We suggest that coaching for the church leader looks less like corporate consulting or humanistic psychology and more like biblical-shepherding. We suggest that every church leader needs a Gospel Coach to come alongside with words of truth, wisdom and experience to encourage, admonish, comfort and help—words drawn from Scripture and godly wisdom, grounded in the gracious saving work of Jesus Christ, and presented in the context of a trusting relationship. Gospel Coaching is an intentional relationship to skillfully care for others with four ancient shepherding principles: 1) Know the sheep, 2) Feed the sheep, 3) Lead the sheep, and 4) Protect the sheep. A Gospel Coach both inquires about the personal, spiritual, and missional aspects of a ministry leader’s life in a loving yet focused manner, and also probes the church leader for compulsive unbelief or selfish motivation, or disobedience and sin, and leads the ministry leader back to the Gospel, through belief, repentance and obedience. Churches that desire to be rich in a Gospel application toward their city, their relationships with one another, their communication and worship, as well as their service, will benefit to a greater degree by having their leaders being coached by a Gospel-centered leader.
Drawn from extensive research, Transforming Church shares how all churches can experience genuine change and growth.
Nearly eighty percent of all new churches fail, leaving countless discouraged church planters wondering why. Ben Arment answers their question with Church in the Making by identifying and expanding on three God ordained conditions that make for a successful church plant even before the doors open: Good Ground – just as Jesus based his ministry on the openness of people’s hearts, we must gauge the spiritual receptivity of our community before planting a church. If the people are not yet open to the Gospel, the first step is to cultivate their hearts. Rolling Rocks – momentum is also key to the success of new churches. If God truly builds his church, then our job is not to start from scratch, but rather to identify where he is already bringing people, funds, and other resources together for his purposes. Deep Roots – wherever there’s a church in the making, God provides a group of leaders who can align people and resources in order to achieve and sustain the church’s mission. Lone planters have a much less hope of succeeding, let alone surviving.

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