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Thriving in the City:

A Guide for Sustaining Incarnational Ministry Among the Urban Poor

by T. Aaron Smith

People from all over the world are choosing to live and minister in poor neighborhoods, growing friendships and churches with their urban poor neighbors for the glory of God and the transformation of the community. This guide equips those incarnational leaders to start strong, stay, and succeed in the uniquely difficult environments of the world's inner cities and slums.

The work of urban poor ministry is not easy. So what does it mean to truly thrive in this unique context? That's the question that T. Aaron Smith asked 100 incarnational leaders to help him answer. He integrated their voices with more than twelve years' worth of stories from his own ministry in Manila, Philippines, to create a thoughtful reflection guide that will prove to be helpful to incarnational leaders of all types, in any context. 

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The Great Chasm:

How to Stop Our Wealth from Separating Us from the Poor and God

by Derek W. Engdahl

Derek Engdahl invites us to walk with him through two chapters of the Gospel of Luke which speak profoundly about our need to be in restored relationships with our poor brothers and sisters, and so be freed from wealth's deadening grasp upon our lives.

In Luke 15 and 16, we meet a prodigal son, a shrewd manager, a rich man, and a poor beggar named Lazarus;  in these pages, we also encounter ourselves. Engdahl's experience of journeying with the poor over the past seventeen years provides him with a host of stories that illustrate this is not just an intellectual or theological exercise.

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Words to Walk by:

A Discipleship Guide through the Sermon on the Mount

by Chris Rattay

In a world that's too often divided by race and class, the Church ought to look a little bit different. Chris Rattay's book provides a resource for mentorship partners, small groups, and churches who are seeking common ground for understanding Jesus across race, class, and familiarity with the Bible.

As we return to Jesus's words in the Sermon on the Mount, all Christians -- new and seasoned, rich and poor, of every ethnic background -- are reminded of how much learning and growth is before us. Recognizing that we're all in the same place before God, Rattay invites us into learn from each others' experiences as we face the ever-challenging 'basics' of living for Jesus. 

Rattay's book is loaded with examples from his experience as an inner-city pastor and a cross-class resident of both East Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA. Each chapter ends with thoughtful questions that invite everyone to contribute to the conversation about what it means to follow Jesus. It is an ideal book for anyone who wants to follow Christ with their neighbors.

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Seeds of Joy:

The Healing Power of Story-Prayer

by Dorothy Mathieson

Those who minister in contexts of trauma hear stories of personal struggle and tragedy almost daily. We have heard Christ's promise that he is present in these stories, but where? And how can we gently and safely invite others back into their greatest pains to find him?

Dorothy Mathieson and her husband, George, have spent decades developing the LIFE story healing process in order to give a practical, reliable answer to that aching question. Decades of ministry first in the world's poorest communities, then with international students from countries hostile to Christianity, and then with weary and overburdened ministers, compelled the Mathiesons to develop the process that has already touched so many lives.

Now, Dorothy offers the LIFE story healing process to those beyond the reach of her Australia-based ministry. This general-audience book can help both ministers and laity become a healing presence for their neighbors-- not through therapy or good advice, but through listening and prayer in the presence of Jesus.

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