I honestly had never heard of Leonce Crump or Renovation Church, which he Pastors in Atlanta, GA, until reading his recent book "Renovate-Changing Who You Are By Loving Where You Are". However, I had heard of Matt Chandler, Pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, Texas, where I currently live. So, when I noticed that Pastor Matt had endorsed this book, I was interested to read it. I received this book for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at www.bloggingforbooks.com and the views expressed are my own.
The book is a look at changing our cities through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, it differs from other books in this regard by proposing not just having 'pity on' or 'helping' those that we consider less fortunate, but by becoming a part of their lives. As an example to help elaborate my point, Pastor Crump and his wife, along with many members of their congregation, moved their families into the urban inner city, only minutes from two of the worst crime areas in America. Some of you may be familiar with the Christian musician Lecrae, who is also a member of their church. They attract people from all walks of life, irrespective of social standing.
It is hard to express in a short blog the ideas from scripture that Pastor Crump proposes. But, in sharing his ideas, he writes about learning to love where you are and how to become a part of the culture, rather than leaving it for a safer place. He exhorts his readers to recognize the hand of God in sending you where you are. The book pointedly addresses issues of transience, prejudice, poverty and racism, confronting the hearts of his readers to examine themselves in the light of scripture as to whether they are helping to change the problems, or may be inadvertently contributing to the factors that create division and perpetuate these areas (You'll have to read to see what I mean).
All in all, the book is excellent. However, I did find some places where I felt the author was espousing his ideas without scripturally supporting them as well as I would have hoped. But, the book challenges the reader to become involved in making a difference. It is a call to renovate the places where we are, and in turn become more of who God made us to be. I pray that you (and I) will take to heart what is written and act on it to be ambassadors of the Gospel in the world in which we live.