Unlikely : Setting Aside Our Differences to Live Out the Gospel
Overview - A beautiful and surprisingly inspirational story about the unique partnership between a group of churches and the mayor of Portland, who came together to positively impact their city and encourage others to do the same. Our dream is to help change the mindset of the city about the church, and the mindset of the church about the city. Read more...
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More About Unlikely by Kevin Palau; Sam Adams
A beautiful and surprisingly inspirational story about the unique partnership between a group of churches and the mayor of Portland, who came together to positively impact their city and encourage others to do the same. Our dream is to help change the mindset of the city about the church, and the mindset of the church about the city.
Portland is among the most unchurched and politically progressive cities in the nation. With its unique edge--from a popular television show dedicated to its eccentricity to hosting the country's largest naked bike ride--you wouldn't expect Portland to be home to one of the most successful partnerships between local government and area churches. But it is.
In 2007, Kevin Palau and a few dozen pastors approached Portland's mayor and posed the question: How can we serve you with no strings attached? Officials identified five initial areas of need--hunger, homelessness, healthcare, the environment, and public schools--and so began a partnership, CityServe, between the city and a band of churches seeking to live out the gospel message. Since then, the CityServe model has spread like wildfire, inspiring communities across the country to take up the cause in their own cities. Unlikely
not only tells the story of the inception of CityServe, but also challenges readers to evaluate their understanding of the gospel. Today's church finds itself torn between social justice and direct proclamation. Unlikely
proposes a both/and scenario, showing how the gospel can truly penetrate a region--through word and
CityServe is proof that when differences can be put aside for a worthy cause, real change can be attained, and unlikely beauty is born.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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In 2007, a dozen evangelical pastors wanted to meet with Sam Adams, the gay, newly elected mayor of Portland, Ore., one of America’s most liberal cities. “I assumed most evangelicals were judgmental... and unwelcoming,” Adams writes in the foreword to Palau’s first book. What follows is a beautiful unlikely friendship. No foot soldiers in the Christian culture wars, instead these pastors asked, “How can we better serve the city?” The slightly shocked mayor, facing deep cuts to his city’s budget, was not shy: he asked for their help with schools, hunger, health care, and the foster-care system, to start. By August 2008, more than 27,000 volunteers from hundreds of churches became involved—and CityServe was launched, developing a church-civic partnership to provide community service. Palau, son of the internationally known evangelist Luis Palau, tells engaging stories in a simple, unpretentious way. With funny asides about the IFC show Portlandia, Palau sketches his search for a model of evangelism different from the barn-storming crusades of his father. CityServe became that model. The goal, says Palau, is not to “fix” Portland, but through “visible unity... humble leadership, sustained effort,” to serve neighbors at the points of their need in the name of Jesus, a formula as old as Christianity itself. (June)