Book Review - On the Block by Doug Logan

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Everyone loves to talk about being missional but few can really describe what it means to be missional beyond being evangelistic. Doug Logan has written the book on missional engagement. On the Black is a must read for any church planter or urban ministry pastor. Logan teaches the reader on how missional ministry is worked out in the life of the local church. He does this through first going to what the Bible teaches about missional engagement as the foundation. Logan then builds on this foundation, by putting feet to these Biblical truths through examples and stories of people affected by his missional ministry.

Here are three key ideas I learned from this book (and there are many others that would be helpful to you):

Being missional is about being with the city not in the city. 

Many church planters and urban ministry pastors enjoy talking about the city. Whether they are describing the benefits of living in the city or the harder aspects of ministering in the city, yet most of the time the focus is on being in the city. Logan does an incredible job of helping the reader understand that it’s not about being present in the city, but being actively engaged in the city. It’s about being with the city. It’s about taking ownership of the wrongs in the city and being a part of how God is going to remedy the situation through the Gospel. 

Being missional is about true concern for the wellbeing of the city.

This idea of being with the city then helps in building a new philosophy of ministering to those on the block by being rid of the “them” mentality. You are ministering to people who  care about. Missional engagement involves having genuine compassion for the wellbeing of your neighbors. He states, “The church’s missional engagement must be infused with true compassion.” [33]

Being missional challenges the status quo of cultural Christianity.

Logan does the church a great service by helping the reader see that the stars quo of cultural Christianity is not the answer for making real Gospel-centered change within the city. He does this by challenging Christians’ fears of evangelism which in truth is an underwhelmed view of the power of the Gospel. He writes, “…I realized that the root of the fear was a collective diminished view of the power of the gospel and the poor of the church to spread it.” [102] He also challenges the church on vision, which in many cases is about cliches rather than action. Logan writes, “Mission without movement never produces fruit.” [104]

This book hit me hard. Perhaps the greatest quote from this book is not actually from Logan but from Dr. William Krispin talking to Logan. It helped me to really feel what it means to be On the Block. “The people are out on the block, unsaved and unreached. The new planters and church leaders are not yet saved and they are out there on the block. But too many preachers are stuck inside the church cemented to the ground behind their pulpits. Doug, your pulpit has to have wheels on it to roll out the gospel of grace to those who are lost out on the block.” [143]

You can purchase On the Block by Doug Logan by clicking here.

 

- Dean