Rebuilding is way harder than building.
But sometimes God calls you to this stretching work rather than starting something new. Pastor and hip-hop artist Tommy Kyllonen faced this journey when God led him to an abandoned Toys "R" Us building in inner city Tampa and said, "Rebuild this into a church."
How do we rebuild in a healthy way despite living in a world of brokenness? Drawing on Nehemiah's example as the rebuilder of Jerusalem's walls, Kyllonen reveals the struggles and joys that he, his family and his young urban, multiethnic church experienced as they pursued a seemingly impossible dream of restoration. Their story will encourage and inspire you to pursue God's rebuilding work in your own life, church and world.
Tommy "Urban D." Kyllonen has been in full-time urban ministry for over nineteen years at Crossover Church in Tampa, Florida. Under his leadership as youth pastor and since 2002 as lead pastor, the church has grown from forty to over 1,000, and was recognized as one of Americas Most Innovative Churches by Tommy is also an internationally known hip-hop artist, author and urban ministry coach and speaker. Tommy has released seven hip-hop albums as rapper "Urban D." He has performed and spoken at concerts and conferences across the United States as well as overseas in Japan, Australia, the UK, Germany and Nigeria. He is the author of a resource for new believers from an urban context, and is the creator of which spans three types of media and includes a book, hip-hop album and film. His church, Crossover, is a multiethnic, multigenerational, economically diverse church in inner city Tampa with the vision to specifically reach those influenced by urban/hip-hop culture. Tommy is the founder of the Urban Coaching Network, a six-month webinar coaching experience for lead pastors and church planters in an urban, multiethnic context. He is also the founder of the Flavor Fest Urban Leadership Conference, which has trained over 5,000 leaders in fourteen years. Tommy is the publisher of which has become the voice of the Christian hip-hop community with a readership in the tens of thousands. The magazine recently launched a TV show which Tommy hosts on JUCE Network (formerly JCTV). He has also authored articles for , Pastors.com, UYWI, Rapzilla.com and the American Bible Society. He lives in Tampa with his wife Lucy and two young daughters.
Many of the problems in your life are for the benefit of other people. In ReBuild, my friend Tommy Kyllonen shares fresh encouragement and practical insights for people to rebuild their lives in order to help rebuild those around them. Don't miss the leadership lessons in this book!
lead pastor, Saddleback Church
Tommy is the real deal, a refreshingly authentic champion of community transformation producing measurable results for the glory of God at Crossover Church. His story, heart and experiential knowledge will help you and your church learn how to 'ReBuild' in your own context by advancing spiritual, social and financial good for the sake of the gospel.
founding pastor, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas
Tommy and I go way back, back to when he was tagging up my dorm room with a pencil, back to when I was just seventeen years old watching him in the Spanish choir, back to when we first met and he got me my first job at Shoney's. After all these years, one thing as always remains constant about him: his heart for God and his heart for people. I trust you will be blessed by his words and you will learn as much as I've learned from him.
When Urban D. speaks, I listen. When he writes a book, I read it. Why, you ask? Because Tommy 'Urban D.' is an effective, innovative leader who is doing an epic work through Crossover Church. I can't wait for you to read ReBuild. This book is essential reading.
-Derwin L. Gray,
lead pastor, Transformation Church, author of The High Definition Leader
Raw, real and wrapped in hope, ReBuild will rebuild the core of your faith with every word. Writing through heartfelt stories of courage and triumph, my friend Tommy Kyllonen holds nothing back to give readers a full gamut of insight, wisdom and truth that is nothing short of inspirational and transformational brilliance. Your heart will never be the same as you rediscover the journey toward God's plan for your life!
-Sergio De La Mora,
lead pastor, Cornerstone Church of San Diego
One of the most significant ways you can ever invest your one and only life is to reach, ReBuild and make disciples among the last, the lost and the least in your city. Pastor Tommy has been doing this for more than a decade and I believe his story, character and priorities will inspire and coach the next generation to go and do likewise. Let's complete the Great Commission in the cities!
founder and CEO, Urban Youth Workers Institute
Ministry leadership and life in general is about the ability to rebuild, renew and restart in challenging times. Pastor Tommy is a proven leader, change agent and creator of culture. It's not easy to lead a multiethnic, urban and growing church, but he's doing it in a fruitful and fearless way. Read this book and grow from it.
president and CEO, World Impact
"This book is full of great stories. Written against the backdrop of Nehemiah, Kyllonen shares incredible anecdotes ranging from perspective on a stolen iPhone to the renovation of a 43,000 square foot Toys R Us into what has become the Crossover Church building. Lyrics to his songs pepper the pages of ReBuild. ReBuild is sure to attract a multi-ethnic, urban audience. His emphasis on the arts as a way to celebrate Christ is fantastic. . . . [It] is laced with inspiration for all who yearn to see God transform lives and communities for his glory."