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For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel
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For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Within ten years, nine out of ten people will claim “no religious affiliation.” Many of these people will live in urban areas. Church leaders must learn how to effectively engage in ministry with this urban core, a group that includes both the poor and marginalized as well as the wealthy and influential. This book will guide readers in developing a philosophy of ministry t ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 7th 2011 by Zondervan (first published April 1st 2011)
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Josh Kopp
Forward by Chris Tomlin (Chris actually worked with Matt Carter at Woodlands United Methodist church). Cool connections. Chris actually pushed Matt to start a new church plant.

What makes a great church? Society says..."a church that meets our needs." But good preaching, good music, and good programs don't define a the successful church. "A great church, a healthy church, is one in which Jesus Christ is found in word and deed." A successful church has members who move and act. Through sac
Luis Branco
I brought this book after reading the Darrin's book about the church planter, which I liked a lot. This book helps us think in different ways of being effective as a church for the city. It carries a bit of pastoral advice, evangelism ideas and urban theology. Nevertheless it is a book mainly based in a way the churches and the cities in America are based. Very different from the European way. It also carries a lot of the American pragmatism and most of the culture in Europe doesn't work pragmat ...more
Jared Totten
"If your church closed its doors tomorrow, would your city even know it was gone?"

Church planting and community transformation are both hot topics in Christian print right now. For the City by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter lies at the intersection of those two topics. However, the book grows out of the blood, sweat, and passion of two churches and pastors and is anything but opportunistic. Indeed it is a passionate plea to the body of Christ to live lives changed by the gospel that engage the c
Bj Stricklin
This book is an essential read for any church leaders who are wrestling with the tensions of attractional church, missional movements, etc etc etc.

Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick put some very real, down-to-earth skin on what it means to create "missional communities" in our churches... groups of people who are committed to living out the gospel in the context that they live in. This is not just a book about theory. It's an honest reflection from two war-torn pastors who have led their churches t
gospel-centered overview of urban focused planting work.

humbly presented stories of God's grace fruitful times and lean times...including areas of chastening and discipline.

left me with a desire to reach into the needy areas of my community capitalizing on the relationships and oppurtunities God has already given me

clear discussion of contextualization with helpful real-life stories of over-contextualizaion and under-contextualizaion.

analysis of in-the-city, against-the-city, of-the-city and fo
Very insightful book on the influence the church has lost in cities and how to get it back. The authors are both church planters so they give some practical advise to church planters but they also share great truth for every church leader to consider. Their topics range from developing ways to serve the people in your community to contextualization in preaching to equipping your staff. Very good book.
Adam Lockhart
Many books on church planting or even ministry in general are laid out with "do this" steps that aren't always useful in every context. This book breaks that mold. While using personal stories and examples Carter and Patrick do an excellent job of laying out high level strategies. Instead of insisting that their exact actions are "right" for all churches they ask questions that force us to wrestle with the big picture which is essentially this "How will be a church that if we closed our doors to ...more
My full review is available at Blogging Theologically:

What does it mean for a church to be “for the city”? As humanity increasingly becomes more urbanized, this question grows in importance. Pastors Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter have spent the last several years of their ministries trying to figure out what that means and what it looks like for the church to serve the city to the glory of God. And in their new book, For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel, Patrick and Carter share w
The world is becoming increasingly urban – and quickly. It is easy for churches to feel overwhelmed, embattled, and confused. Rather than responding to the city by fortifying or compromising, Patrick and Carter unpack what it means to be gospel-centered churches that works for the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:4-9) to the glory of God (not churches simply IN, AGAINST, or OF the city, but churches FOR the city). For The City tells the stories of Patrick (Journey Church; St. Louis, MO) and Cart ...more
Brent Rosendal
A great book. One unlike any other book I have read before. The book talks about church planting in an urban context. Unlike other books that give more of a how to on church planting, this one shares personal stories about what the author's had done and their successes. On top of that, they talk about their failures and in my opinion, this was the strongest portion of the book, although I liked the entire book. As a foreign missionary, some of the book was very American however there are many pr ...more
William Mcneely
I really loved a discussion on not just the why, but the HOW TO, reach the city. To not be a church that is either against the city, of the city, in the city, but rather FOR THE CITY. The honesty of the authors failures was a sobering warning of the hardships of the pastorate. But also encouragement that although many things are out of your control as a pastor, God is the one who will sustain you and will not only teach, but discipline and train to be the pastor who isn't self-sufficient but who ...more
Gregory Soderberg
This is a fantastic book. It is practical, readable, and very honest. Matt and Darrin have made plenty of mistakes in their respective ministry journeys, and they share these honestly, as well as the lessons they've learned. The stories of their lives, and of the two churches they now lead, is very encouraging. Matt and Darrin are well-grounded, in the Reformed Baptist tradition, but they know how to make the never-changing Gospel relevant to the people in the cities they serve. Another must-rea ...more
Joshua Hedger
A good, practical read on the churches call to reach the city it's in.
Marcus Mackey
Ignites your imagination for what the church could be in your city.
Andrew Perry
Learn to be a church FOR your city! Love this book.
Jon Marshall
Darrin does a good job talking about church planting. The ups and downs as well as some good stories about church planting in general. Honestly this is the kind of book I expected in his other book "Church Planter". I technically feel that this book should be in series with his other book, this being the second.
Great points about consumer mentality, being a driving force in the local culture and going beyond what we feel is enough ministry. I also liked the leadership information, as in from th
Jeff Boettcher
Two great pastors disclosing their hearts for urban church planting. They write with thought provoking insight, refreshing missional clarity and pastoral hearts. At times they seem to elevate the importance of urban planting and their model for doing so. However, while I wish they had a broader vision for the variety of ways that churches can be planted, I appreciate the example of their heart for the mission of the church.
Mary A
I found this book very inspiring. It is great to hear the real-life stories of two successful urban church plants and the work God is doing in their churches and cities. It really opened my mind to the possibilities of what God can do in a city and the importance of being open to helping the whole city, not just your church. A lot of the behind the scenes details were very encouraging to me personally. A great read.
Good introduction for those wondering how churches can be for the city. The most helpful parts were the confessions and advice from the planting mistakes of Pastors Patrick and Carter. One thing missing was a list of resources for further reading on missional communities, urban ministry, and church planting that the authors introduce but don't delve into in this book.
Ben Titsworth
What I liked most about this book, is that for patrick it was definitely a sequel to church planter. Hearing the accounts of both him and carter's planting stories was extremely humbling. To see where these guys started and how broken at times they still are. Honest read from both, no sugar coating, just raw in the moment writing on ministering to Gods people.
Barnabas Piper
The best aspect of this book is that it isn't a defense of the city or a comparison between the city and the burbs. Instead it is aimed at those who already has a heart for the city or feel called there. It is immensely practical and deeply theological. It is moving and significant. Anyone with a heart for serving the city would benefit from it.
I absolutely loved the autobiographical components of this book. The writers especially Patrick so graciously and honestly detail the up and downs of their church plants. Those sections were extremely compelling. A really strong book for a niche audience of church planters interested in city ministry.
Caroline Fontenot
Interesting read, a little out of context for me (the majority of the book was about church planting). Loved hearing the story behind one of my favorite churches, Austin Stone. Worth the read for the chapter "community" alone.
Becca Harris
Excellent, easy to read book about gospel centered change in your city. It's more than social justice, it's about how to help those around us now that we have been helped by the grace of Jesus.
What I liked best about this book is that it chronicles the birth and growth of The Austin Stone. If you want to understand the heartbeat of my church, read this book!
Justin Farley
a timely read #forthecity @darrinpatrick @joel_lindsey @churchplanting @zondervan
Great FOR the city! God is glorified when His Church lives out the love, grace & mercy of Jesus in the midst of the city.
Worth reading.
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BA - Southwest Baptist University - Bolivar, MO MDiv - Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Kansas City, MO Doc - Covenant Seminary - St. Louis, MO

Darrin and Amie have been married since 1993. They have four children: Glory was born in 2000, Gracie was born in 2002, Drew was born in 2006, and Delainey born in 2009. In 2001, Darrin and Amie moved to St. Louis and planted The J
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