Church in Hard Places (9Marks) [eBook]
How the Local Church Brings Life to the Poor and Needy
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, paying particular attention to the downtrodden and the poor. As followers of Jesus, Christians are called to imitate his example and reach out to those who have the least. This book offers biblical guidelines and practical strategies for reaching those on the margins of our society with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The authors—both pastors with years of experience ministering among the poor—set forth helpful “dos” and “don’ts” related to serving in the midst of less-affluent communities. Emphasizing the priority of the gospel as well as the importance of addressing issues of social justice, this volume will help pastors and other church leaders mobilize their people to plant churches and make an impact in “hard places”—in their own communities and around the world.
Mez McConnell is senior pastor of Niddrie Community Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has been involved in pastoral ministry since 1999 and is the founder of 20schemes, a ministry dedicated to planting gospel-centered churches among the poorest of the poor throughout Scotland. He is the author of Is There Anybody Out There? and Preparing for Baptism.
Mike McKinley (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Sterling Park Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. Formerly, he served on staff alongside Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He is the author of a number of books, including Am I Really a Christian? and Church Planting Is for Wimps.
“Two pastors from opposite sides of the Atlantic come together to share their stories of pastoring people in hard places. Mike McKinley and Mez McConnell care about what the Bible says, they care about people, and they care about the local church. Their stories communicate love, joy, humor, and wisdom. I pray that this convincing and compelling book encourages others to labor for the spread of the gospel where today there is no witness.”
—Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks
“Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley have written a book that we need. Church in Hard Places is timely and will instruct a generation serious about taking the gospel to and seeing the church planted in difficult contexts and situations. Those with the highest views of God and grace ought to be most passionate about seeing the church gathered in the hardest places. Mez and Mike spur us on to this task.”
—J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi
“McConnell and McKinley have done us a great service in collaborating to write this accessible, passionate, and important book. Seldom have I read something with such a mixture of gospel ambition and hard-nosed realism. That’s probably because it is written by practitioners rather than theorists. May God grant a plethora of such practitioners to be birthed by this book for the vital task of reaching those neither easily nor often reached.”
—Steve Timmis, Executive Director, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
“Finally—a book on this vital aspect of the gospel mission that is Bible-rich, gospel-centered, and church-focused! And it’s written for the average Christian by two guys with skin in the game. Church in Hard Places is a gift to the church.”
—Jared C. Wilson, Director of Content Strategy, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“If your heart is moved with compassion for the weak and the suffering in the world, then you will want to pick up this book. But I must warn you, it’s not the book you think you’re getting. Instead, it’s the very book you need to read. Mike McKinley and Mez McConnell argue that while it is heartless to ignore the needs of the weak and suffering, the greatest need they have is the same need we all have—to turn away from sin, embrace Christ, and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ in a healthy fellowship of believers committed to one another under the faithful leadership of caring pastors who will equip the church for ongoing ministry. Apart from that, we are merely meeting temporal needs and offering no hope for a changed life now.”
—Juan R. Sanchez, Jr., Senior Pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas