|Size:||5.25 in x 8.0 in|
|Published:||October 03, 2023|
Practical Advice for Weary Leaders Who Want a Gospel-Centered Culture for Their Church
Being a pastor is hard. Whether it’s relational difficulties in the congregation, growing opposition toward the church as an institution, or just the struggle to continue in ministry with joy and faithfulness, the pressure on leaders can be truly overwhelming. It’s no surprise that pastors are burned out, tempted to give up, or think they’re going crazy.
While we’re quick to assert what the gospel says, we’re often too slow to admit what the gospel should do for our churches: reflect Christ’s beauty through a godly, grace-filled culture.
In this practical guide, seasoned pastors Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry help weary leaders renew their love for ministry by equipping them to build a gospel-centered culture into every aspect of their churches. Emphasizing the importance of healthy doctrine, they explain that failing to also nurture a healthy culture can be frustrating, polarizing, and even unbiblical. This encouraging guide features Scripture-focused advice on honesty, honor, preaching, leadership, and mission to support leaders and help them regain a beautiful, Christ-centered vision for their ministries.
- A Great Resource for Pastors, Church Planters, and Seminary Students: Encourages weary church leaders with Christ-centered advice on hospitality, discipleship, preaching, and more
- Valuable Ministry Insights: Each chapter features discussion questions and a brief, engaging conversation between the authors about the topic
- By Pastors Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry: Expanding on their podcast, You’re Not Crazy
Table of Contents
Foreword by Dr. Russell Moore
Chapter 1: What Is Gospel Culture, and Why Does It Matter?
Chapter 2: Open the Doors, Open Your Heart (A Culture of Gospel Welcome)
Chapter 3: Come into the Light (A Culture of Gospel Honesty)
Chapter 4: See the Glory! (A Culture of Gospel Honor)
Chapter 5: Christ Preaching Christ (A Culture of Gospel Invitation)
Chapter 6: Leave Behind Lord-It-Over Leadership (A Culture Guided by Gentle Shepherds)
Chapter 7: Make Your Church’s Love Obvious (A Culture Fueled by Renewal and Mission)
Afterword by Bishop Clark Lowenfield
“From the very first episode of the You’re Not Crazy podcast, I was hooked. The overarching theme of the podcast, and now the book, is this: gospel doctrine is meant to produce gospel culture through which the church shines forth the beauty of Christ. I have come to embrace that message wholeheartedly and am thankful that Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry have made it accessible to all through this book. If you’re currently leading a church or ministry, or planning to do so in the future, this book is for you.”
Brian Brodersen, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California
“This is the most important book I’ve read this year. You’re Not Crazy is written for pastors, ministry leaders, and followers of Jesus who not only believe the gospel but also desire to experience good news in their everyday life and work. The grace of God should shape not merely our theology but also our experience within our churches. This is exactly what Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry do through these biblically rich and deeply practical chapters. This book is refreshment for those who are weary, renewal for those who are disenchanted, clarity for those who are frustrated with the present state of the church, and rocket fuel for those who refuse to bow to the tribalism and outrage addiction of our times. Here you will find the kind of Christianity that every follower of Jesus longs deep down to experience. Read it slowly. Read it annually.”
Adam Ramsey, Lead Pastor, Liberti Church, Gold Coast, Australia; Director, Acts 29 Asia Pacific; author, Truth on Fire and Faithfully Present
“You’re Not Crazy contains an insightful, straightforward path toward seeing gospel culture established in your ministry—a path that travels through the very heart of Christ. Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry’s writing is quintessentially moving, motivating, and practical, as one would expect from two men who have lived their message so wholeheartedly. I wish I had read this fifteen years ago, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
Simon Murphy, Lead Pastor, Redemption Hill Church, Singapore
“In this book, Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry unfold a biblical and beautiful truth: sound doctrine ought to create compelling community for followers of Jesus. The local church is Christianity enfleshed, and our life together is integral to our witness. The authors show how gospel doctrine creates gospel culture in various areas of church life—from the pastoral welcome, to how we honor one another, to how we preach, and more. Here is a timely and inspirational reminder to turn afresh to the high calling of being part of—and helping foster—the body of Christ.”
Samuel D. Ferguson, Rector, The Falls Church Anglican, Metro Washington, DC
“A church that lacks gospel culture will undermine its gospel preaching. A gospel culture welcomes messed-up people to stumble toward glory together, knowing that God’s grace is their only hope. You’re Not Crazy is an invitation for Christians and churches to press past the confusion of our day and experience the beauty of Jesus’s grace together. I highly commend this work.”
J. Garrett Kell, Pastor, Del Ray Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia; author, Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God
“Huge, if true! As I read this book, named after the authors’ hugely popular podcast, line after line hit me with life-giving gospel hope. In fact, I started sending quotes over to my wife but soon realized I was effectively texting her the whole book. What a tragedy that so many who declare or defend gospel doctrine have failed to develop gospel culture. What damage this has done to Christ’s body and witness. And what an incredible tonic this book will be for those committed afresh to moving truths from head to heart to life.”
Dave Gobbett, Lead Pastor, Highfields Church, Cardiff; author, The Environment; Trustee, Word Alive
“I love this book. I love it for exploring God’s vision in his word for gospel doctrine to create a gospel culture in our churches. I love how it applies precious gospel truths like grace, justification, and glorification to honesty, hospitality, and honoring in church life. I love how it explores God’s vision for the preaching, leadership, and relationships in our church families, which is so compelling to the communities we’re trying to reach. I love it because it encourages and challenges Western evangelical churches—rocked by leadership scandals, denominational revisionism, and class tribalism—to rediscover God’s inspiring vision for his churches in which the love of Christ truly shapes and fuels our ministries and lives.”
Richard Coekin, Senior Minister, Dundonald Church, London; Director, Co-Mission