Thursday, March 31, 2016

Renovation Project

Renovation of cities and neighborhoods has recently become a more popular movement as we realize the need to help make positive changes where we live. I am a believer in the need for responsible citizens and Christ followers to invest deeply in their community. Leonce Crump’s book, “Renovate: Changing Who You Are By Loving Where You Are” echoes that sentiment in a way that made me exclaim “Yes!” several times while reading it.

Leonce is a pastor in Atlanta who understands the need to be committed to your present city while being fueled by a passion to facilitate positive changes. He issues a powerful challenge in his introduction by telling his readers they are in their current location to be part of God’s solution and meet the need around them. This is in opposition to the societal norm that applauds transience. Pastor Crump instead is looking to reinforce the principle of having a “theology of place” and staying somewhere long enough to help contribute to positive change.

His book isn’t just a challenge to work long-term towards lasting change, but also to eradicate segregational barriers that prevent true unity. He encourages readers to identify everyone through the eyes of Christ to see the “new humanity” and “new community” we are called to have through the cross of Christ. This is a passionate plea to work together in our neighborhoods with respect and commitment so we can see a partnership of lasting renovation.

Leonce is obviously passionate about the need for the church to be a leader in true renovation and he isn’t afraid to share hard truths. He made me think very carefully about my own efforts to make a difference and to make sure my motives were clear. He was able to clearly communicate tough principles without seeming judgmental or condescending. His book was challenging enough to make me think about driving to Atlanta just to spend some time with him and see how he is living these principles out. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to be part of positive change in their community and wants to be part of something that lasts.

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