Eric Swanson and Sam Williams, both ministry practitioners with global experience, are the co-authors of To Transform a City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010). In it, they offer six reasons why “we need to engage with the city” (30):
- Cities have a transforming effect on people.
- Cities form a creative center.
- Cities create fertile ground for thinking and receptivity.
- Cities can help people live more efficiently and productively.
- Cities are valued by God.
- The early Christian movement was primarily urban.
With these reasons providing the impetus for city engagement, Swanson and Williams offer practical advice, strategies, and reflections on leaders desiring to be involved in the transformation of their city. Transformation, the book argues, not only involves change in outward appearance but also the birth of something new – communally, spiritually, societally, and individually.
The book is immensely practical – with charts, lists, and narrative examples – while also providing a huge array of references to further encourage sociological and theological exploration of the city. For anyone desiring to better connect to their city, this is a book worth engaging.
Note: As part of Zondervan’s blog tour, I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.