Monday, January 25, 2016

You change the community - the community changes you

Léonce B. Crump, Jr. has written an important piece of what I might call the grow where "you're planted" narrative.  Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are (Multnomah Books, 2016)   There is a growing body of work suggesting that in many cases it' important to be a part of the community where you live, and use the neighborhood relationships that you've built to share the gospel, to plant a church (traditional or non-traditional) and in doing so reflect Christ and God's plan to draw us to Him.

But Crump takes it a step further,  and suggests that when you are obedient to God's call to be an integral part of the community, it may be you rather than the community that changes.  And as important as it might seem to change the culture of a neighborhood, it's also important for each of us on a personal level to see our own hearts changed.  And amid the ups and downs of trying to plant a church, that seems to be what happened to Crump.

I particularly liked the chapters titled "A Theology of Place" and "The Sanity of Sentness".  In a way that was very real to me, Crump has pointed out once again just how important it is to realize that the various Great Commission passages in the Gospels and in Acts,  indicate that sometimes going to the ends of the earth has to start in our own Jerusalem. I'm not trying to diminish the need for missionaries to travel to other places, but sometimes we have to think about the pre-Christians in our own neighborhoods, and share with them before we, or perhaps they get on a plane for a far off land.

I read an Advance Reading Copy of this book, so I was careful not to indicate pages numbers which might change before the final version is printed.  The book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my review; there was no obligation to write a positive review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment