Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are (Paperback)
God is not wiping this world away. He is in the midst of renovating it.
Léonce Crump, lead pastor of Renovation Church in the urban core of Atlanta, invites you to do what God did when He wanted to make a difference in this world – move in.
Whether you’re a pastor looking to plant a church, a missionary preparing to serve in a far-off land, a family preparing to move into a new community, or a follower of Jesus simply looking to engage more deeply in your current neighborhood, Léonce reveals how our agendas can often sabotage achieving real change in our world.
Léonce takes you on a journey to understand what he calls “the ministry of presence” which he himself learned the hard way after planting a church in one of the most violent areas of Atlanta. Léonce and his family found that, before we can preach or reach others, we must first know the story of a place and its people – especially since skin color, cultural norms, and economic status often isolate us more than bringing us together.
About the Author
Léonce B. Crump Jr. is lead pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta. The former professional athlete has strong transcultural appeal and connections in the world of professional sports and pop music as well as church planting and leadership circles. He is currently earning his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. Leonce and his wife Breanna reside in downtown Atlanta with their two daughters and son.
Praise for Renovate
“Like me, Léonce Crump lives in a racially divided city. Churches in cities like that need help. Help has come in Renovate. It’s a ground-breaking book to help the church move past racial and socioeconomic divides in order to bring the gospel of Jesus to every person.”
—Dr. Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey church in St. Louis and vice president of Acts 29, a global church planting network
“If you find yourself asking questions like ‘Why am I here?’ or ‘What is my purpose?’ or ‘Will my life count for anything?,’ then look no further, this book is for you. Deep, theologically sound, thought provoking, yet delightfully readable and persuasively practical, Renovate will change the way you see yourself and the place, the literal place, where you live. This is a clarion call to the church—this is true mission.”
—Michael Fletcher, senior pastor of Manna Church and leader, mPact Churches
“In our highly mobile world, we tend to think of where we live as just another stop along the way or, if we are lucky, the final stop on a lifelong journey to find the place that ‘fits’ us best. Léonce Crump challenges us to consider another paradigm, one that sees the community we live in and minister to as a place to which we’ve been sent with a calling—a calling to bring God’s agenda of redemption to every fabric of life. And when we do, it will change everything, not only about where we live but also who we are.”
—Larry Osborne, author and pastor of North Coast Church in Vista, California
“Renovate is a timely disruption in a culture where our attraction to ‘progress’ can undermine our values and sense of community. With sound theology and urban sensibilities, Pastor Léonce calls into question our tendency to remain disconnected for mobility’s sake. Readers will be inspired to view their current surroundings with new eyes, seeing a call for discipleship and renewal where they once saw only dead ends and dilapidation.”
—Justin E. Giboney, founder of Crucifix and Politics
“Léonce’s voice is what our culture has been missing for a long time. This book demonstrates his unique ability to take very high and complex things and bring them to the street level. This book is a must have.”
—Propaganda, Humble Beast Records
“Renovate is all about reclaiming a sense of place and a sense of putting down roots, and creating a 360-degree connectedness to the people and experiences within that place. I truly believe the human heart has a deep longing for that place called home both here in this life and in the life to come. To quote Léonce, ‘This book is about fleshing out this solution of permanence and developing a theology of place.’ Do yourself a favor. Read Renovate and reclaim your sense of place.”
—Linda Stanley, vice president and team leader at Leadership Network
“With the creative genius of a theologian, the heart of a pastor, the tools of a sociologist, and the attitude of an activist, Léonce Crump has given the church a gift with Renovate! He’s a master storyteller; he paints a picture of cultural renewal through gospel that will inspire you. Warning: he drops gospel bombs on culture idols. Don’t be scared, though…”
—Derwin Gray, lead pastor at Transformation Church and author of The High Definition Leader: Building Multiethnic Churches in a Multiethnic World
“In a world where limitless mobility encourages many to constantly pursue the most advantageous option, Crump offers refreshing insight to a theology of place. His ministry in Atlanta and conviction to stay there sheds light on the much-needed conviction of permanent presence. Renovate appeals to all ranges of the lived experience, especially in today’s society.”
—Stephen Um, senior minister of Citylife Presbyterian Church of Boston and author of Why Cities Matter
“Léonce Crump has penned an important work grounded in theological, historical, and current social context. Renovate invites us to embrace communities beyond mere sentiment, platitude, or missional project. Indeed, authentic engagement of both neighbor and neighborhood is no longer optional but biblical; not only nice but necessary to advancing a credible gospel witness in an increasingly diverse and secular society and, more than this, to finding our own sense of purpose in and through a strong sense of place.”
—Dr. Mark DeYmaz, pastor of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas and author of re:MIX, Transitioning Your Church to Living Color
“There’s a great deal of banter about changing the world. I’m guilty myself as I’ve also written a book about it. But Léonce Crump is onto something refreshing in Renovate. When we’re so often tempted to be spectacular or to engage in some earth-shattering feat in some far-distant land, Crump reminds us of the significant, beautiful, and necessary calling of being faithful, steadfast, prayerful, and present right where we are. In other words, if you want to change the world, begin in your homes and families, pour into young people, get to know your neighbors, and seek the peace of your city.”
—Eugene Cho, senior pastor at Quest Church, founder of One Day’s Wages, and author of Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?
“Léonce’s new book is provoking yet winsome, smart yet accessible, and loaded with potential breakthroughs. While leading a multicultural movement has given me a platform to teach on the subject for years, I now realize I have much to learn still.”
—Ryan Kwon, lead pastor of Resonate Church
“Jesus teaches that the central paradigm of the Christian life is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Léonce Crump’s Renovate provides a masterful framework for what Jesus’s teaching on love looks like across the boundaries of race and class for the twenty-first century. American Protestantism has needed a book like this for the last fifty years.”
—Anthony B. Bradley, PhD, associate professor of religious studies at the King’s College in New York City
“Reading Renovate leaves you inspired and challenged to be engaged in the important work of shaping the culture through the gospel. Far too often we regulate Christianity to a Sunday-only encounter, while Crump invites us to join God’s work on a daily basis and across the spectrums of life. This is truly a long-overdue call to the people of God to respond to the culture now. It is our time!”
—Bryan Carter, senior pastor at Concord Church
“Léonce Crump is a friend and fellow pastor. That also makes him a fellow traveler in our callings to be Christians, husbands, fathers, and pastors. A good fellow traveler teaches you to walk the land with sure-footedness and deep-rootedness. They help you see the place you’re in, the people you’re around, and the possibilities for both. If you want to be better rooted where God has placed you with the people in your family and neighborhood, travel with Léonce in Renovate. These pages just might renovate your view of life and how you live it.”
—Thabiti M. Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church
“Few leaders have the theological depth and cultural awareness to speak into the direction of believers in today’s world. Not only does Léonce write with the insights of a sociologist; he draws them from personal experience. His writing isn’t ‘theory for’; it’s tried and true testimony.”
—Lecrae Moore, Grammy Award–winning music artist
“Léonce is such a special gift to the church, and a needed one. I’m thankful for his leadership, teaching, and example!”
—Jefferson Bethke, author of It’s Not What You Think