What would happen if your community had a head-on collision with Jesus? Pastor and community leader Mark Strong says, "You would have exactly what God wants: a divine merger!" He continues: "A divine merger is when the church intentionally integrates with its community... The result is a kingdom transformation."
Divine Merger is designed to give you the vision and tools you need to fulfill your own God-given mission in your community and church. Ranging from single-person sponsored ministries to church-wide and even multi-church regional ministries, these pages are packed full of ideas. The practical wisdom here will help any follower of Christ, pastor or church leader engage their community. Each chapter concludes with questions for reflection appropriate for either individuals or groups.
Are you ready to plan your divine merger?
Mark E. Strong (DMin, George Fox Seminary) is senior pastor of LifeChange Christian Church, a diverse congregation located in the heart of inner-city Portland, Oregon. He is the author of and he serves on the Board of Regents at George Fox Seminary. He and his wife Marla have four children.
"Gentrification, spiritual lethargy and the clash between new realities and old dreams are part of Mark's journey as a leader in his church and community. As one who strives to live his life fully invested in both spheres, Mark provides in this book a mixture of practical implementation, pastoral encouragement and theological grounding for embracing our call to partner with Jesus in the transformative collisions between our church and our community."
"Overall the book stresses the importance of relationships. It belongs in the missions and evangelism category. This kind of work is what John Perkins calls 'holistic community development,' and I would recommend it for those interested in urban ministry."
"Mark Strong is a pastor's pastor, and a deeply committed leader and preacher. In Divine Merger he challenges us to do the spiritual work of bringing our communities and our churches together. He does this with wisdom and grace, inviting us to intentionally seek God's leading for change for both sides. The book is inspiring, biblical and practical. If you want to catalyze change in your church and community, this book, filled with stories of Mark's own experiences and insights learned on the battlefront, can be a trusted guide."
"Mark Strong is a legend in our city. The archetype of a wise, humble, faithful urban pastor. Many younger planters look to him for more than mentorship, but for a template to pour our own lives into. When a guy like Mark talks about the collision of Jesus and community, I listen."