How does the power and presence of the gospel enter into a city and bring real, transformational change? This is the premise behind Pastor Leonce B. Crump, Jr.’s book Renovate: Changing Who You Are By Loving Where You Are. Renovate weaves together Crump’s own personal journey as a church planter in inner city Atlanta alongside the things that God has shown him while seeking to live missionally in his neighborhood in a book that challenges each of his readers to truly embrace the gospel by investing in others.
Crump effectively encourages his readers of the incarnational ministry of Jesus- He came to live among us in order to invest in our lives. It is by embracing Jesus’ model of ministry that we can truly effect change and gospel impact to those around us. Crump reminds us that as Christians we are sent into the places where God has put us and may be sending us in the future. In these places where we find ourselves, we must live like missionaries by seeking to understand the culture and its needs prior to proposing our own solutions to the culture’s problems. In seeking to minister in a place, Crump reminds us that it takes time to see impact and that investment needs to be for the long haul in a community. As we seek to live as sent ones being intentional to live for the glory of God and the good of the city, we will see God begin to work.
Renovate also addresses some of the racial tensions that we see in our world in a very helpful way. Through Crump’s own personal story and learnings as an inner city church planter, he articulates some helpful things that members of the predominate culture should consider. It is through seeking to see the world through someone else’s eyes that true understanding and change can come.
Crump’s call to Renovate is a clear and gospel-focused call to minister to people like Jesus would. It is a helpful and challenging read for ministers seeking to reach their cities as well as Christians seeking to live on mission in the place that God has planted them.