For The City
Authors: Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter
Paperback: 190 pages
This is the fourth book in the Exponential Series that I have been able to review. While I was (overly) critical of one book, the series as a whole has impressed me (and my position on that one book has changed since I wrote the original review). For the City is another excellent book in this series.
This book is divided into two sections. The first section introduces us to the authors and their vastly different faith journeys. From Darren, the high school party boy who did not grow up in the church, to Matt who grew up in a Christian home, we see how God can take anyone and use their gifts for ministry in a positive way.
The second section discusses themes, opportunities and challenges of ministry in an urban setting. This section is the heart of the book. Darren and Matt take on issues like contextualization and community, two important issues for any ministry.
One thing I really appreciated in this book was that the authors openly admit to their past mistakes. In the chapter entitled Confessions, Darren and Matt talk about the “sins” they have committed during their ministry and how they have failed as church planters and pastors. In my experience, pastors are reluctant to admit their mistakes or don’t like when their mistakes are brought up, adding to the the misconception that pastors are up on a pedestal. Darren and Matt show that this isn’t the case by airing some of their mistakes for all to read.
The one weak point, in my opinion, was the chapter entitled Suffering. It was more of a series of stories about how people have suffered than a method of meeting people who are suffering where they are (which might involve some suffering on your part).
Overall, I thought this book was excellent. It is by far my favorite from the Exponential Series to date. This is a book that I will reference often in my ministry and one that I will recommend to others looking for ways to reach the people in their specific context.
I received this book free from Zondervan. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”