Over the last twelve months I have been working on producing a book about Urban Expression and after much procrastination and distraction, it is finally at the printers! On 29 January Urban To The Core: Motives for Incarnation Mission will be available. This is some of the blurb I have started to circulate about it:
“Why would anyone choose to move into one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country? Why would parents take their children to live in an inner city estate? What leads church ministers to give up the security of a salary and a house to have the freedom to go and live in the shadow of a high rise tower block? Urban To The Core gets to the heart of the motives which have inspired more than one hundred people to relocate to inner-city communities in Britain with Urban Expression.”
I have written this book because I think the story of Urban Expression might inspire and motivate people to think differently about our world. As the global population becomes overwhelmingly urban and the church in the West comes to terms with its diminishing ability to connect meaningfully with the majority of society, I wanted to showcase the significant steps a small group of people have been taking to bridge the gap and prioritise those on the margins of society and the church.
In 2012 Urban Expression celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. Each of the one hundred plus people who have joined our teams inspire me, and their commitment to the urban poor is something to celebrate. I have written this book to honour them and draw out their street level experiences and stories. This book is rich with their personal, sociological and theological reflections. The lessons they share with honesty and vulnerability will resource, equip and inspire the reader as they consider how they live out their own faith in a majority urban world.
I think this book is a helpful purchase for those who are concerned about the future shape of mission and for those who want to be inspired and equipped to engage with our majority urban world. It seems to me that many contemporary books on missional church tickle the ears of suburban Christians but do not face up to the fact that the world is urban to the core with most of the world’s population living in cities. I fear that strategies which fail to prioritise cities will become increasingly inadequate. This collaborative and multi-voiced book reveals what has motivated us to prioritise the urban poor and offers stories and reflections to provoke, inspire and challenge.
You can access more information about the book and read the generous endorsements from Colin Marchant, Pat Took, Gary Bishop, Ann Morisy, Peter Sidebotham, Fran Beckett and Mike Frost here (no I didn’t pay them!!):
I have self-published this book and so any purchases will help to cover those costs and any profit will support the ongoing work of Urban Expression. The way to enable most money to go towards this is to buy books direct from me. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can buy from Troubador who will still pass on more of the money than Amazon or other online book stores. I am hoping it will be available as an ebook sometime soon.
If you read the book and like it (!) and feel able to write a review and signpost others, that would be very much appreciated.