Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
I recommend Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle (New York: Simon & Schuster [Free Press], 2010). It's the story of a ministry with street gangs in LA. It is very well-written and moving. Here's a quote: "Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it."
One day a former parishioner returns to visit the church on a weekday:
"Then he takes in the scene all around him. Gang members gathered by the bell tower, homeless men and women being fed in great numbers in the parking lot. Folks arriving for the AA and NA meetings and the ESL classes. It's a Who's Who of Everybody Who Was Nobody. Gang member, drug addict, homeless, undocumented. This man sees all this and shakes his head, determined and disgusted, as if to say 'tsk, tsk.'
'You know, ' he says, 'This used to be a church.'
I mount my high horse and say, 'You know, most people around here think it's finally a church.'"