At Building Hope in the City, we want to encourage you to check out some of our staff’s recommended resources that have shaped our approach to urban ministry.  These resources will challenge, inspire and grow your understanding of those we serve and your faith.

Book Recommendations:

Restoring at Risk Communities

A comprehensive handbook to urban ministry introduces and shows how to implement a Christian community development program.

 

 

 

 

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself 

Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. Don’t let this happen to you, your ministry or ministries you help fund! A must read for anyone who works with the poor or in missions, When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.

 

 

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

From a powerful new voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America.

 

 

 

 

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

 

 

White Awake

Daniel Hill will never forget the day he heard these words: “Daniel, you may be white, but don’t let that lull you into thinking you have no culture. White culture is very real. In fact, when white culture comes in contact with other cultures, it almost always wins. So it would be a really good idea for you to learn about your culture.” Confused and unsettled by this encounter, Hill began a journey of understanding his own white identity. Today he is an active participant in addressing and confronting racial and systemic injustices. And in this compelling and timely book, he shows you the seven stages to expect on your own path to cultural awakening. It’s crucial to understand both personal and social realities in the areas of race, culture, and identity.

 

Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

Building upon the concepts introduced in Good to Great, Jim Collins answers the most commonly asked questions raised by his readers in the social sectors. Using information gathered from interviews with over 100 social sector leaders, Jim Collins shows that his “Level 5 Leader” and other good-to-great principles can help social sector organizations make the leap to greatness.

 

 

 

Toxic Charity

Veteran urban activist Robert Lupton reveals the shockingly toxic effects that modern charity has upon the very people meant to benefit from it. Toxic Charity provides proven new models for charitable groups who want to help—not sabotage—those whom they desire to serve. Lupton, the founder of FCS Urban Ministries (Focused Community Strategies) in Atlanta, the voice of the Urban Perspectives newsletter, and the author of Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life, has been at the forefront of urban ministry activism for forty years. Now, in the vein of Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty, Richard Stearns’s The Hole in Our Gospel, and Gregory Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart, his groundbreaking Toxic Charity shows us how to start serving needy and impoverished members of our communities in a way that will lead to lasting, real-world change.

 

Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships

In Ministering Cross-Culturally, the authors demonstrate that Jesus needed to learn and understand the culture in which he lived before he could undertake his public ministry. The authors examine how this can help us better understand what it means to establish relationships of grace with those from different cultural and social backgrounds.

 

 

 

Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City

Many pastors struggle to translate their theological beliefs into fruitful ministry in the places they are called to reach. It’s not enough to simply know what to believe (theology) or, on the other hand, how to do ministry (methodology)—they need something in between. They need help thinking about ministry in a culture that no longer believes Christianity is a force for good, let alone the source of ultimate revealed truth in the person of Christ.

 

 

Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor

The urban landscape is changing and, as a result, urban ministries are at a crossroads. If the Church is to be an effective agent of compassion and justice, Robert Lupton notes, we must change our mission strategies. In this compelling book, Lupton asks the tough questions about service providing and community building to help ministries enhance their effectiveness.

 

 

 

Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development

John Perkins calls churches to leave behind old political assumptions and apply serious biblical ministry to urban problems. This new vision rejects easy answers, stressing Christian community.

 

 

 

 

For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel

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.

 

 

 

Film Recommendations:

God Grew Tired of Us

An award-winning, critically acclaimed documentary, narrated by Nicole Kidman, GOD GREW TIRED OF US explores the indomitable spirit of three “Lost Boys” from the Sudan who are forced to leave their homeland due to a tumultuous civil war. Traveling barefoot across the sub-Saharan desert, John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach and Panther Blor were among the 25,000 “Lost Boys” (ages 3 to 13) who fled villages, formed surrogate families and sought refuge from famine, disease, wild animals and attacks from rebel soldiers.

 

 

Exodus

The first-person stories of refugees and migrants fleeing war, persecution and hardship — drawing on footage filmed by the families themselves as they leave their homes on dangerous journeys in search of safety and refuge in Europe.

 

 

 

Welcome to Shelbyville

A small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

 

 

 

Podcasts

Missio Alliance partners with several leading podcast producers to share conversation related to how Christians and the Church are seeking to participate in God’s mission in the world.

 

 

 

Storied Cities is a podcast about the stories our cities tell and the stories we tell about our cities.  They sit down with people across the vocational spectrum—ministry and nonprofit workers, thought leaders, small business owners, artists, neighbors—and discuss they ways people are learning to love the place they live and the people who reside within it. Originating in Cleveland, OH and brought to you by Building Hope in the City, Storied Cities exists to foster new narratives about the places we live. Narratives full of trust, life and hope.

 

 

Pray as you Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.

A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend.  It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer.

 

More resources coming soon!