Many pastors struggle to translate their theological beliefs into fruitful ministry in the places they are called to reach. It’s not enough to simply know what to believe (theology), or on the other hand, how to do ministry (methodology) - they need something in between. They need help thinking about ministry in a culture that no longer believes Christianity is a force for good, let alone the source of ultimate revealed truth in the person of Christ.
This unabridged audiobook, a collection of 12 essays by Timothy Keller, outlines a theological vision for ministry that is 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; and
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. A theological vision creates a bridge between doctrine and expression, a balance between cultural engagement and countercultural distinctiveness.
Written by a practitioner for practitioners, Center Church will provoke serious reflection, creative adaptation, and decisive action. It can be used by groups or individually and includes questions for discussion and reflection.
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Wisdom for Urban Churches - Deep, Wide & Practical
I am a pastor in New York City and an admirer of Tim Keller's preaching and writing, though I've only attended Redeemer Presbyterian Church a couple of times. This lengthy book reads as a carefully assembled notebook of the accumulated wisdom of Keller (and his team) in building one of the most thriving and paradigmatic churches in New York City today. It shows clearly the depth and clarity of thought and the faith put into practice that is embodied in Keller's work. It rightly rejects the idea that others can simply take over the Redeemer model and replicate it. Rather, Keller leads the reader to think substantively about the many elements that are part of the life of an urban church with a strong center in the Gospel. It ranges widely from the content of preaching and theology, to issues of interaction with secular culture, to diversity in worship styles, and many other topics.
While I think that the book will be most relevant to those who are directly involved in ministry, it will also provide a thoughtful journey through urban church life to anyone who reads it.
Tom Parks does an excellent job reading the book. I highly recommend it.
Fantastic though I read this kind of book next tim