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A New Kind of Big: How Churches of Any Size Can Partner to Transform Communities

A New Kind of Big: How Churches of Any Size Can Partner to Transform Communities


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There's a growing desire among believers to reach beyond the walls of their churches to impact communities for God. But when the average church size hovers around 150 members and the problems of even midsized cities seem insurmountable, how can we hope to make a difference?

A New Kind of Big tells the inspiring story of how Perimeter Church in suburban Atlanta started a partnership called Unite! with other area churches in order to increase its reach in a community that desperately needed God's light and aid. This partnership has grown to a network of nearly 150 churches that are bringing kingdom transformation to Atlanta. For instance, on just one weekend in 2007, 6,000 volunteers from over 60 churches in metro Atlanta gathered to work on 250 service projects inside the ten-mile radius around Perimeter Church. Thirty welcome baskets were delivered to refugees, a dozen homes were repaired, a thousand Bibles were given away, 750 "encourage a teacher" gift bags were distributed. And that's not all: volunteers orchestrated 20 block parties in low-income apartment communities and 65 neighborhood food drives that collected 25,000 pounds of food.

Chip Sweney shows Christian leaders how they too can discover the power of this "new kind of big" to pool their resources, energy, and time to minister to their communities, no matter how long or short their membership rolls.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801013690
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/2011
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Chip Sweney (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Next Gen and Community Transformation Pastor of Perimeter Church and has been the leader of Perimeter's Community Outreach since its inception in 2002. He has also given leadership to Unite! since it began in 2003. Chip is a well-known conference speaker and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kitti Murray is a wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She and her husband, Bill, live in downtown Atlanta, where they are part of a network of urban church planters. Kitti graduated from Agnes Scott College in 1978 with a degree in English/Creative Writing and German.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Foreword 11

1 A New Kind of Big: Are You Ready to Dream Big Again? 13

2 Turning Our Hearts Inside Out: First Steps toward Becoming a Church of Influence 21

Cityscape-Community Transformation on the Horizon

3 Big Questions with Big Answers: Where Are We Going? 37

Cityscape-New York City: Lessons about Prayer from the Big Apple

4 Diagram of a Dream: Inventing the Wheel 51

Cityscape-A Boundaryless City: The Friendship Factor

5 The Epic Becomes Us: Education, Poverty, Family, Justice 71

6 The Human Chain: Developing Community Partnerships 83

Cityscape-Long Beach: The Church as a Catalyst

7 Transformation: It Works Both Ways 99

Cityscape-Little Rock: New Paradigms in Structure

8 Unity: But First We Experienced a Split 109

9 We Have Liftoff: The First Compassion in Action Weekend 119

Cityscape-Knoxville: Doing Our Homework

10 Orbit: Launching Christians into Channels of Influence 135

Cityscape-Atlanta: Big Starts Small

11 Measuring Success: Preparing the Thanksgiving Feast 151

12 Making Music: The Song Swells as We Partner with Others 163

Appendix 1 Community Outreach: How Perimeter Church Developed Its Community Outreach Department (2002) 173

Appendix 2 Unite! Creating an Ongoing Movement 177

Appendix 3 A Study of Duluth: Project Overview 181

Appendix 4 Community Research: A Relational, Asset-Based Approach 185

Notes 187

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