Seeing Jesus in East Harlem
What Happens When Churches Show Up and Stay Put
by José Humphreys
Pub Date 09 Oct 2018
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We are all located in different places. Some of us move from neighborhood to neighborhood or even state to state. And the way we grow as disciples and lead others in spiritual growth depends on our contexts. Pastor José Humphreys recognizes how deeply our faith is tied to our particular stories in our particular places. Grounded in his own deep faith and wisdom, he writes out of his experiences as a Puerto Rican pastor who has planted a multiethnic church in East Harlem. In this book, he offers a framework to help church leaders take discipleship seriously in their places, calling them to show up, stay put, and see what God is doing in their midst. Combining spiritual formation with activism, vivid narrative with exhortation, and realism with hopefulness, Humphreys offers pastors and church planters a thoughtful look at discipleship in a complex world.
"Attention all hipster pastors who want to reshape the church and world in your image—you do not want this book, but you really need this book. Pastor José Humphreys offers an authentic narrative not based on an unrealistic, romanticized view of urban church life (centered on coffee shops and organic grocery stores). This text provides a biblically and theologically robust vision of an embodied church that should provide a guidepost for the next generation of churches."
-Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, author of The Next Evangelicalism and Prophetic Lament
"José Humphreys's new book, Seeing Jesus in East Harlem, is an important contribution to the church at this particular time in our nation's history. With the continual growth of poor residents in our large cities, it is a necessity to be equipped with a contextual theology that speaks to the needs of people's hearts and to the social realities in places like East Harlem and beyond. Thank you José for sharing your wisdom, your challenges, and your love for Jesus in East Harlem."
-Noel Castellanos, president of CCDA
"I believe we need a creative new generation of pastors and church planters today not just so we will have more churches but also so that we will have new kinds of churches—just as suited to our contexts as churches of the past were to theirs. Seeing Jesus in East Harlem is the story of one such church being birthed in the dynamic environment of East Harlem. You will meet a brilliant pastor, theologian, and writer José Humphreys, and you will be challenged to see your own congregation and context in a new light."
-Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
"Prophetic urban pastor José Humphreys offers a gift to pastors and churches with a welcomed book on potential ways to engage ministry in an urban context. His book Seeing Jesus in East Harlem: What Happens When Churches Show Up and Stay Put offers Pastor Humphrey's reflections on urban ministries. This critical and thoughtful book is also helpful for those doing ministry beyond the context of the city. I highly recommend it for anyone dealing with the challenges of germane ministry."
-Samuel Cruz, associate professor of religion and society at Union Theological Seminary, senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
"Sustainable embodied ministry requires practice and presence. Humphreys provides theological depth, pastoral wisdom, and practical tools that are deeply needed for communities seeking to be the church and not simply inhabiting a church building. This generation of church leaders needs to honestly ask if they are ready to reimagine how to live into a public and prophetic witness under the overwhelming realities of racial injustice, gentrification, and apathy toward the church. This story is one of honesty and hope."
-Sandra Maria Van Opstal, pastor, activist, author of The Next Worship