Urban and Mercy Ministries Resources

Randy Nabors Speaking at the MNA Ministries Luncheon at the 41st General Assembly

Click here for download options at the Internet Archive.


ACTS Ministries – the Mercy Ministry of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia PA

FASTEN – Faith and Service Technical Education Network


Online Documents

The Biblical Call for Justice (PDF)

Biblical Guidelines for Mercy Ministry in the PCA (PDF)

Setting Policies for Assistance (PDF)

Five Common Questions on Evaluating Need (PDF)

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (PDF)

Strategies for Community Ministry, by Randy Nabors (PDF)

How Should We Respond to Panhandlers? (PDF)

Deacons Serving in the Local Church (PDF)

When Helping Hurts (PowerPoint) from the Chalmers Center

Reconsider: Poverty by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Free ebook when you register with Moody Publishers

Mission to North (MNA) recommends that you carefully consider the following books and articles. Although they do not all necessarily represent Presbyterian and reformed standards, their content falls within the theological boundaries of the broader evangelical community. This recommendation does not imply agreement with or endorsement of the practices or beliefs of the authors.

Apple, David S., Not Just a Soup Kitchen, CLC Publications, 2014 (ISBN: 1619581744). NJASK takes Scripture, theology, and theory and applies them to real life. The author draws on years of personal experience, with a heart for the neighbors we are called to love. There is practical advice for everyone, since we are all called to do mercy ministry. Families should read this, as well as church ministry groups. A valuable addition  to your library.

Keller, Timothy J., Ministers of Mercy, Zondervan, 1989 (ISBN: 0-310-52041-X) This covers everything from the biblical basis of the deacon to the practical programs in which they should be actively involved.

Lewis, Robert, Church of Irresistible Influence, Zondervan, 2001 (ISBN: 0-31023-9567) This book provides practical insights into what it will take to reconnect your church with your community. Its timely message is like a bridge over the troubled waters between an isolated church and a cynical culture.

Nabors, Randy, Merciful: The Opportunity and Challenge of Discipling the Poor Out of Poverty, 2015 (1508434522). Merciful begins with Nabors’s own experience with poverty and how it shaped his ministry and views. He examines the problem of poverty from both a theological and philosophical standpoint, focusing on practical, long-term strategies to help the poor. Along the way Nabors tackles the many issues surrounding poverty, discussing what helps rather than what merely enables, and the limitations of government and nonprofit assistance.

Rusaw, Rick; Swanson, Eric, The Externally Focused Church, Group Publishing, 2004 (ISBN: 0764427407). This book would be particularly useful for evangelical churches occupied with church-based ministries, mainline congregations engaged in social justice ministries, and “survival-mode” congregations that need to rediscover their purpose. It could be used in small groups, adult classes, or church leadership groups.

Sherman, Amy, Restorers of Hope: Reaching The Poor in Your Community with Church-based Ministries That Work, Crossway Books, 1997 (ISBN: 0-89107-958-0) Drawing on the examples of seven church-based social welfare ministries, this book offers practical guidance on how to reach the poor in your community.

Chapell, Bryan, Holiness By Grace, Crossway Books, 2001 (ISBN: 1-58134-4651)

Conn, Harvey M. & Manuel Ortiz, Urban Ministry, InterVarsity Press, 2001 (ISBN: 0-8308-1573-2)

Conn, Harvey M., The American City and the Evangelical Church: A Historical Overview, Baker Books, 1994 (ISBN: 0-8010-2590-7)

Gornik, Mark, To Live In Peace, Eerdmans, 2002 (ISBN: 0-80284-6858)

Grant, George, Micah Mandate: Seeking Justice in Our Society, Showing Mercy to Our Neighbors, Walking Closely with Our God, Moody Press (ISBN: 0-80245-6340)

Guiness, Os, Steering Through Chaos: Vice and Virtue in an Age of Moral Confusion, NavPress, 2000, (ISBN: 1-57683-1582)

Habig, Brian and Les Newsom, Enduring Community: Embracing the Priority of the Church, Reformed University Press (ISBN)

Hunt, Susan, By Design: God’s Distinctive Calling to Women, Crossway Books, reprint 1998 (ISBN: 0-89107-9769)

Hunt, Susan, By Design: God’s Distinctive Calling to Women, Study Guide, CE&P, 1994

Kraybill, Don, Upside-Down Kingdom, Herald Press, 1994 (ISBN: 0-83613-522-9)

Lambert, David, Showing Mercy: Getting What You Give, Zondervan, 1993 (ISBN: 0-310596-63-7)

Ortiz, Manuel and Susan S. Baker, editors, The Urban Face of Mission: Ministering the Gospel in a Diverse and Changing World, P&R Publishing, 2002 (ISBN: 0-87552-401-X)

Perkins, John M., Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development, Baker Books, 1993 (ISBN: 0-8010-7122-4)

Perkins, John M., editor, Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together and Doing It Right, Baker Books, 1995 (0-8010-5463-X)

Sherman, Amy, Establishing a Church-Based Welfare-to-Work Mentoring Ministry, paper, Welfare Policy Center, www.WelfareReformer.org

Sherman, Amy, Sharing God’s Heart For The Poor, paper

Sherman, Amy and Deanna Carlson, Welfare of My Neighbor: Living Out Christ’s Love for the Poor (with workbook), Moody/Family Research Council paper, 1999 (ISBN: 1-55872-0022)

Sider, Olsen and Unruh, Churches That Make a Difference, Baker Books, 2000 (ISBN: 0-80109-1330 recommended by David Apple

Sjogren, Steve and Janie, 101 Ways to Help People in Need, NavPress, 2002 (ISBN: 1-57683-3151)

Van Engen, Charles & Judy Tiersma, editors, God So Loves The City: Seeking a Theology for Urban Mission, MARC, 1994 (ISBN: 0-912552-86-7)

Updated on June 9, 2021

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