no wastelands: how to grow seedbeds of shalom in your neighbourhood by ash barker is a wonderful book. it pulls together so many threads distilling his and anj's experience, practice, wisdom, theology.
i have taken groups of pioneer students to visit ash and anj in winson green over the last 7 years and they always come away challenged and inspired. the reason is simple – they are living out the gospel in their neighbourhood in ways that are bringing visible change, visible good. ash's word for that is shalom - life flourishing in a place. ash has so much experience having done four cycles of living in urban neighbourhoods round the world facing multiple challenges. no wastelands distils the wisdom of that experience, practice, and theology into one accessible volume. it’s a mix of inspiring stories, gritty honesty, practical ideas, advice and frameworks, spiritual practices, theology and missiology, combining into an amazing handbook to guide anyone else wanting to follow in this direction, of which I hope there will be many. it is rich and deep. ash’s passion for enabling innovative leaders and changemakers from inside those neighbourhoods shines through – that’s the thing that has grabbed me personally the most. I will be coming back to this again and again and passing it on to others.
it is available from amazon or ash
we have a day (which will advertised shortly) for the pioneer network on march 21 most likley in bristol. ash will be at that so do pout that in your diary. he is also out and about round the uk as follows:
19 Jan - Nazarene Theological College’s Cafe, Manchester
27 Jan - Seedbeds Centre, East Ham, London
28 Jan - Lodge Road Community Church, Birmingham
<15 Mar - Kelvinside Hillhead Church, Glasgow
16 Mar - Forge Conference, Perth, Scotland
17 Mar - St Augustine Church, Edinburgh
21 Mar - CMS Gather day (location tbc)
12 Apr - The Church on the Corner, London (tbc)
23 Apr - Dublin
26 Apr - Forth Spring, Belfast
25 May - Holy Island, UK
7 Jun - The Message Trust, Manchester
contact seedbeds to find out more and i will add details of the march 21 day as soon as i have them.