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For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel (Exponential Series) Paperback – May 7, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Exponential Series
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310330076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310330073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Carter is the senior pastor of Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing churches in America.  Matt currently lives in Austin with his wife, Jennifer, and his three children, John Daniel, Annie, and Samuel.

Darrin Patrick is pastor of the Journey, a church he founded in 2002 in the urban core of St. Louis, Missouri. Darrin is vice president of Acts 29 Church Planting Network. He also serves as the chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals. He earned his doctor of ministry from Covenant Seminary and has written two books: Church Planter and For the City.



Joel A. Lindsey is the pastor of theology and care and a teaching elder at the Journey Church in St. Louis, Missouri. He lives in Webster Groves, Missouri, where he and his wife Melissa are raising their three sons, Eli, Beckett, and Schaeffer.


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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend the book to all church leaders.
John Gibbs
This book gives a great overview on how to take the Gospel and live it outwardly for the city and the world to see in both word and deed.
Ryan Martin
For the City is a challenging and very well written book.
Todd Lynn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A healthy church is not just a preaching church or a hub for social justice; a God-honouring gospel-loving church is one where the Word of God is the primary motivator for doing the work of God, according to Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter in this book. The book tells the stories of Matt's The Austin Stone church in Texas, and Darrin's The Journey church in St Louis, Missouri.

Matt's first experience of Austin involved a drive-by shooting and a street brawl, but his friend Chris Tomlin talked him into starting a church there. It was to be a church for the city, in the urban centre of Austin. Attenders are organized into missional communities rather than traditional small groups. The For The City Network helps to co-ordinate the good work already being done by non-profit organizations and deploys people from the church to help the activities of those organizations.

Darrin's desire to plant a church grew out of the frustration of not being able to find a church that would connect with his athletic friends or his girlfriend's artistic friends. He arrived in St Louis in 2001 to plant The Journey, welcomed by gunshots and his car being stolen. The church has three main ministries for serving the city: a community development ministry called Mission: St Louis, a ministry aimed at repairing the church's relationship with artists called The Luminary Center, and a Christian counselling ministry called Karis House.

Both authors are gifted writers, and I found the relatively short book highly engaging throughout. The authors' failures are mentioned alongside their successes, helping the reader to believe that planting a gospel-centred mission-focused church for the city really is possible, and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. I highly recommend the book to all church leaders.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David P. Craig TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darrin Patrick (Pastor of The Journey in St. Louis, MO) and Matt Carter (Pastor of Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas) both tell the stories of their calling to plant churches - specifically in the city. The two pastors' inspire existing churches to think through how we proclaim and live out the gospel, and extend a call to the masses to influence our cities with and for the gospel.

I love Carter's description of his "church model" taken largely from His reflections on reading about Charles Spurgeon's amazingly effective ministry in London, England in the mid-1800's:

"Imagine an urban church so influenced by the power of the gospel that it seized every opportunity to proclaim and live out the gospel for the good of the city. Imagine that this church physically and spiritually served the poorest of the poor, but also lovingly rebuked the wealthy. Imagine this church as the epicenter of straight-up, God-fearing, Spirit-filled, revival, leading thousands of people to eternal life in Christ in just a few years. Imagine a church that built elderly housing, housed all the orphans in the city, and taught wealthy business people to have a `double bottom line' so they could run a profitable business in order to support the work of the church and meet the needs of the city. In other words, imagine a church that boldly preached the gospel and lived out the values of the kingdom. Don't you want to be a part of a church like that?"

My answer is "yes" I do! Along the way the authors show what a gospel centered ministry looks like from their perspectives of planting and pastoring in Mid America and in the South.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Stohler on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Are many churches sleeping giants?

This is the question that Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick try answer in their newest book For The City. Their answer is simple: yes. But, through this writing, they help the reader discover how to better be a church that is for the city, not in the city or of the city. This will enable the sleeping giant all across the nation to read its full God-given potential. I am thankful to Zondervan for the free book to review on this blog.

The book begins with both stories of how Patrick planted The Journey in St. Louis and how Matt Carter planted The Austin Stone in Austin, TX. This part was critical in their expertise of the subject they were writing. The stories are passionate and honest. It reads fast because it is more like a novel than non-fiction! Part two of the book then leads into the practical areas of the book including contextualization, community, serving the city, equipping, suffering, ending with personal confessions.

Patrick makes a bold statement on pg. 85, "It is my contention that the most effective way to know God more intimately is to be in deep relationships with other Christians who are also seeking to know God intimately." I disagree, even with his great defense from C.S. Lewis. I personally think the most effective way is to read and study the Word. It is God's revelation of Himself. Community is second though in my book. Darrin writes a great chapter on community, building it upon the Trinity and the creation of human beings. He does, however, fail to convince me ministry can be done in the "pubs."

Matt makes a convincing argument for small groups with the aim of mission. Though I applaud the calling God has given Matt and the Stone, I have a conviction small groups should be focused on teaching.
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