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For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel (Exponential Series) [Paperback]

Matt Carter , Darrin Patrick , Chris Tomlin , Joel A Lindsey
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 7, 2011 Exponential Series
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 that can lead to restoration and renewal in their city. Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick explain the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of ministry within the urban core and how to plant churches where the gospel is not only faithfully preached and shared but also brings substantial benefits to those living in the community. For the City relates the wisdom gleaned from years of serving their cities for the sake of God’s kingdom. Carter and Patrick practically equip church leaders and Christians to look at their city as a mission field where individuals and churches can faithfully proclaim the gospel and live out the reality of a community changed and transformed by its message.

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For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel (Exponential Series) + Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission
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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.


Product Details

  • Series: Exponential Series
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310330076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310330073
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 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: #192,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Indepth Look at Church Planting November 15, 2011
Format:Paperback
This is probably one of the most honest and heart-felt books that I have read in a really long time. Most would look at Darrin Patrick (Journey Church in St. Louis) and Matt Carter (Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX) and think that they are just pastors of huge megachurches. They are but what they wouldn't see is two men who wanted to plant a church 1)where God specifically told them to 2)for the purpose that God had for the church. I will be honest and say that I had never heard of either Darrin or Matt until reading this book. But these are two great men of God that have an enormous amont of knowledge the church could learn from. Two men who were not concerned about worldly fame but more concerned about Godly fame. Wanting to please God more than man and knowing that if they pleased God, God would provide everything they needed. This book is filled with honest stories of doubt, trials, feelings of failure, and uncertainty. But, it is also filled with real life examples of how when you put God's desires in front of your own, he blesses and provides in ways that we could never dream possible. This is not just a book for church planters but for anyone who wants to see the lost come to a knowledge of who Christ is and for any church, whether a plant or long established, to see that people are God's biggest love and concern.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book! June 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the content! Super helpful to church planters especially those parachute-dropping into a city and starting from scratch. It helps to keep the main focus of impacting a city for the Gospel at the helm of what you do!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's easy to read but it's also an amazing story of ...
It's easy to read but it's also an amazing story of how God is glorified, sometimes in the strangest ways. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
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... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Luis A. R. Branco
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the read
Convicting and simple the whole book is biblically centered and practically minded. It is more about thinking as though our practice ought be God fearing and honoring while seeking... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Clint Shamblin
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid and Compelling
"For the City" is a brief, lucid, and compelling challenge for pastors and church planters to build churches which are "for" the good of the city. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bruce Riley Ashford
4.0 out of 5 stars great Resource
This is helpful in processing all that comes at you in ministry and moving forward with intentionality. Glad I live in the city!
Published 9 months ago by D. Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars great book a must have for all church leaders
If you want real practical was to reach your city for Jesus this is the book for you. Pastor Patrick shares real stories on his Journey with His church The Journey Church and their... Read more
Published 12 months ago by j williams
5.0 out of 5 stars a new church paradigm for the 21st century.
A new way of thinking about the church that is as old as the first century church. A deep book that examines what it means to be a Christian Church in the 21st century. Read more
Published 13 months ago by David Medina
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem for pastors
Practical, down to earth and filled with valuable lessons for pastors and chuch planters. This is a great book to move us to love and be the church to our city
Published 13 months ago by Dennis Sy
4.0 out of 5 stars A Church FOR the City
For the City by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter is a book for pastors, church planters and Christ-followers who want to make a difference in their respective cities. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dr. David Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
I literally couldn't put this book down...well besides the hour I went and got subway in between. This as been a topic on my mind lately and I didn't quite know how to articulate... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Parker Lee
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