We use cookies in order to save your preferences so we can provide a feature-rich, personalized website experience. We also use functionality from third-party vendors who may add additional cookies of their own (e.g. Analytics, Maps, Chat, etc). Read more about cookies in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If you do not accept our use of Cookies, please do not use the website.

Header Image



Listed below is a brief summary of each book. For more information about a particular book (endorsements, reviews, etc) click on the various books links on the left.



For local churches an often overlooked dimension of the city is the built environment. What does urban form reveal about a city? What does it communicate in terms of values an d culture? More than that, what role do local churches having in shaping the built environment for the betterment of the city? The Gospel and the Built Environment explores the connection between the gospel and urban form. More than that, but how healthy urban form promotes human flourishing.









The landscape of church planting is rapidly changing right before our eyes. In response to the fluidity of the culture that surrounds us, church planters are needing to think differently about how they should approach their calling. Rather than asking, “How do I plant a sustainable church?” many are beginning to ask instead, “How do I become sustainable as a church planter?”

Enter social entrepreneurship. Intrepid is about combining the twin forces of church planting and social entrepreneurship––where the gospel is proclaimed and lived out, where neighborhoods and communities find new hope for the future through job creation and economic development, and where church planters create avenues for long-term sustainability.

The goal of this book is to set the course for a new way forward for church planters. Regardless of the cultural and societal contexts church planters find themselves in, how well are they being equipped and trained for the tasks at hand? What skills and tools are they missing that would help them meet these new challenges? The changes taking place are so fundamental that we even need to redefine who or what a church planter actually is.






The city is the preeminent location for missional endeavors and church planting today. Countless articles, books, training, education, resources, and blogs detail the importance of cities as the geographic locale for ministry. But what do we know about the city? Why did we previously disregard the city center for countless decades only to return en masse right now? In this short book we will together explore the history of cities, particularly the urban core. After our journey we'll then see what the missiological implications are for today for this back-to-the-city movement.






walkable cities ebookWalkble cities, gospel-centered urbanism and pedestrian-oriented church planting (portland: epoch center, FEBRUARY 19, 2018)

Walkability has been a mainstay in cities since the founding of the very first one in antiquity. Before the advent of cars people moved around in cities on foot. Over time we added new transportation technologies such as horse drawn carriages, electric streetcars, light rail, buses, and more. In our car-oriented cities the church has a more difficult time connecting, serving, and loving their neighbors due to the reality that most congregations are comprised of regional commuters. Walkable Cities, Gospel-Centered Urbanism and Pedestrian-Oriented Church Planting is tool to assist local churches to think through not only topics like walkability and ministry on the neighborhood scale, but also ways they can be involved in placemaking through grassroots design interventions.





Urban Hinterlands delves into not simply planting the Gospel and new churches in uncool places, but wrestles with our perceptions of what makes cities truly livable. Wrapped up into this are frank conversations and confessions about motives in church planting, the value of place, our deepest desires and longings, calling, and identity. In the end this is a conversation about the Gospel and what we believe God is calling us to. Should the goal of church planters be to move and plant the Gospel in cities and neighborhoods which are deemed desirable or livable? What about uncool paces? What about the urban hinterlands?

As city centers become more revitalized, desirable, hip, and trendy there is a wave of new church planters moving into these urban neighborhoods. In city after city there is a direct correlation between the attractiveness of place and the number of new churches planted there, whether in the suburbs in the past decades or trendy inner-city neighborhoods of today. In other words, the trendier the neighborhood the more new churches are being planted there. But what if that is not you? What if you feel called to go to those “in between places” ... the urban hinterlands?



exegetingExegeting the City: What You Need to Know About Church Planting in the City Today (portland: URBAN LOFT PUBLISHERS, 2015)

As the tide has turned and a wave of church planters have washed up on the shorelines of city centers many are learning to navigate the intricacies of urban life for the first time. Many of today’s North American church planters are migrating in from the suburbs, smaller cities, and rural towns as they are confronted with a culture, lifestyle, and built environment that is more foreign than they thought ... or would admit. What do church planters need to know about the city in order to be effective? Exegeting the City was written for you, the church planter, to expand your understanding of the city. This will aid you in the process of contextualization as you discern how to embody, teach, and proclaim the Gospel in the city. Besides, your city needs you to do this. Throughout the book you will be exposed to different trends that are reshaping the city both in culture and urban form. This in turn influences how people experience and live in the city which then has direct bearing in how you plant a church. Exegeting the city today is of critical importance.



urbanityThe Urbanity of the Bible: Rediscovering the Urban Nature of the Bible (portland: URBAN LOFT PUBLISHERS, 2015)

Often times the Bible is associated with rural pastoral settings. The Israelites wandering in the desert wilderness living in tents, David playing his harp for sheep out in the pasture, and Jesus strolling along dusty roads between remote villages. But what if I told you that the Bible is an urban book and that the center stage for where the drama of biblical events played out was truly the city? Starting in Genesis, all of the way to the end of the Bible in Revelation, the whole trajectory of humanity and the focal point for the Missio Dei was and is urban and not rural. When Jesus erupted into history through the womb of a teenager he lived in the most urban region in the world. The early church was birthed in the city and spread to the largest most influential cosmopolitan urban centers of the day. For the first-century Christian, to be a follower of Jesus was synonymous with being an urbanite. The Urbanity of the Bible explores the urban nature of the Bible and displays the urban trajectory of the Missio Dei. The city was and is a dominant theme of the setting, backdrop, and purposes of God throughout history. As the world today has flooded to the cities this book is good news. We were meant to live in the city.



blueprints cover2 Blueprints for a Just City: The Role of the Church in Urban Planning and Shaping the City’s Built Environment (portland: Urban loft publishers, 2015)

What role does the church play in shaping the built environment of the city? Or does it? Blueprints for a Just City is an exploratory journey looking at the ways in which God’s people have played a pivotal role in not only influencing life in the city, but in the actual built environment as well. Together we will delve into the parameters of the Gospel, the role of common grace in the city, and God’s involvement in shaping urban form. If God’s heartbeat is for justice and equity, as part of the Gospel story, how then does the church immerse itself into the city influencing and shaping the built environment? The outcome of Blueprints for a Just City is to collect and synthesize blueprints for what a just and equitable city can look like when marked by the Gospel.




bohemian The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling (Portland: Urban Loft Publishers, 2014)

Cycling as a way of life and mode of transportation is on the rise in city after city around the world. For those looking to dip their proverbial toes into the waters of urban cycling the prospect at times can be rather intimidating. What kind of bike should I ride? A skinny-wheeled high-end road bike? A fixie? A chunky city commuter bike? A department store bike? How about fashion? Do I have to wear brightly colored skin-tight Lycra outfits? Can I just wear normal clothes? How do I lug my gear around?

The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling takes the reader into the world and workings of cycling in the city to uncover the essentials to how to join in on the cycling revolution. Your bicycling guide on this journey is a card-carrying bohemian living in Portland. By using the bike-crazy city of Portland as the backdrop, this book covers all of the basics needed to bike comfortably in the city and to know what the heck you're talking about ... from bike selection to fashion to bike lanes to gentrification and more. After reading this you'll know precisely what to ride, how to ride, what to wear, and how to talk like an insider. Well, maybe not, but it'll still be a fun journey together. But this book is more than about urban-cycling fashion and high-end bikes. It also plunges headlong into conversations about mobility, equity, race, and justice. If there is going to be a book about all-things cycling in the city it must delve into these uncomfortable topics in order to develop a more holistic view of urban cycling. The bottom line must be to affirm all kinds of people pedaling through the streets of our cities on anything that rolls.

vespas_cover Vespas, Cafes, Singlespeed Bikes, and Urban Hipsters: Gentrification, Urban Mission, and Church Planting (Portland: Urban Loft Publishers, 2014)

Chapter Contributors: Dave Arnold, Cole Brown, Michael Carpenter, Michael Crane, Caleb Crider, Jon Hall, Jon Huckins, Orvic Pada, Brandon Rhodes, Glenn Smith

Gentrification is a complex process that historically has created dividing lines between the haves and have-nots. In urban renewal, there are clear winners and losers as neighborhoods and districts become revitalized. On the plus side, there is a reclamation and preservation of grand historic buildings, homes and edifices alongside renewed economic vitality. On the negative side, gentrification means many minorities and lower-income families, who for years had called the old neighborhood home, are getting pushed to the urban periphery because they cannot afford to live there anymore. In light of these competing if not contradictory values, how should Christians respond? Is there a biblical and theological foundation on which to build such a response? Vespas, Cafes, Single Speed Bikes, and Urban Hipsters takes a look beneath the surface of this phenomenon to uncover and present a Christian response to this city-changing movement.



bikeable-2ndThe Bikeable Church: A Bicyclist's Guide to Church Planting (Portland: Urban Loft Publishers, 2012, 2nd Edition 2015)

The Bikeable Church: A Bicyclist's Guide to Church Planting is an off-the-cuff look and exploration into the bicycling world in Portland. More than that, it pokes and prods church planting in the urban petri dish to discover what it'd be like to plant pedal-powered churches. Chalked full of stories, antics, and slightly questionable research,The Bikeable Church spins forward the church planting revolution in light of the changing transportation infrastructure in cities like Portland, and asks whether we can truly start churches where the primary vehicle of use is the bicycle. This book is for the everyday bicyclist and ordinary church planter. You'll be happy to hear that no spandex was worn for the writing of this book.





tmnc-new one The Multi-Nucleated Church: Towards a Theoretical Framework for Church Planting in High-Density Cities (Portland: Urban Loft Publishers, 2012, 2nd Edition 2015)

For too long church planting literature and training has been primarily focused on starting churches in low-density parts of our cities predicated upon auto-based commuting patterns. However, the reality of the global city is that millions upon millions of people worldwide do not live that kind of lifestyle. Rather, life revolves around getting from Point A to Point B via on foot, bicycle, or public transportation. What would church planting then look like with those common transportation realities? Instead of basing strategies and methodologies on a car-based lifestyle, The Multi-Nucleated Church reduces the scale to walkable neighborhoods, districts, city centers, and central cities. The common denominator is truly high-density urban contexts. The Multi-Nucleated Church explores the theoretical framework of constructing an ecclesiology that finds its home in the multi-nucleated high-density mega-global city.



view_cover View From the Urban Loft: Developing a Theological Framework for Understanding the City (Eugene: Resource Publications, 2011)

As the world hurtles towards urbanization at an ever-increasing pace, there arises the need for further theological reflection on the city. Globalization, international immigration, and densification in cities are having a transformative impact on the urban landscape. Urban mission is at the forefront of many denominations, church planting networks, ministries, and mission organizations yearning for citywide transformation. How are we to think biblically and theologically about the city? View from the Urban Loft will take readers through the development of cities throughout history, act as a guide to navigating the current forces shaping urban environments, and seek to uncover a theology of the city that gives Christians a rationale and a biblical understanding of the meaning and purposes of the city and then how to live in it for the glory of God.




metrospiritual_cover Metrospiritual: The Geography of Church Planting (Eugene: Resource Publications, 2011)

Metrospiritual: The Geography of Church Planting is about church planting in the city. There is an outpouring of new expressions of church being started throughout metro areas across North America. Where are these new churches being started? Maybe a more subterranean question is, "Why"? Why are churches being started where they are and why is there is a bias towards one part of the city and an overall neglect of other parts? Metrospiritual explores these questions and more as it builds off of recent research and surveys of hundreds of church planters in seven large cities in the United States and Canada. There is a deeper look at pivotal issues such as gentrification, the Creative Class, community transformation, urban renewal, and the role new churches play in all of these.