Paperback: 176 pages
Publish Date: April 4, 2023
Why is the world so unfair? Where is God in the midst of the brokenness? Is there anything we can do?
We know that in a fallen and broken world there will always be pain and poverty, sickness and sadness. Yet as followers of Christ, we are called to bring hope and healing to those who hurt. What, then, is our responsibility to alleviate human suffering this side of eternity? With so many needs everywhere we look, where do we start? One thing is certain: Our faith does not allow us to turn away. Our response to the least of these, Jesus tells us, impacts not just those in need but also our own hearts and potentially even our salvation.
The Least of These brings together a collection of respected Christian thought leaders to provide a multifaceted look at the body of Christ’s relationship and responsibility―both individual and corporate―to the marginalized of our society. Contributors include Lisa Rodriguez-Watson, David Hionides, Ben Virgo, Dennis Edwards, Brandon Washington, Jonathan Brooks, Daniel Aaron Harris, Danielle Strickland, Aubrey Sampson, and Christiana Rice.
The Least of These is the third in a series of Kingdom Conversations, books that bring together trusted Christian voices to address some of the most urgent and perplexing challenges of our time in timeless and redemptive ways.
Angie Ward is a leadership teacher and writer with over 30 years of ministry experience in church, parachurch, nonprofit, and educational contexts. She is an award-winning contributor to Christianity Today leadership publications and a highly regarded teacher and speaker. A sportswriter in a previous life, Angie and her husband live in Denver, where she serves as Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Denver Seminary.
Sixteen years spent pastoring a beloved but profoundly wounded Detroit neighborhood is simply one of the many reasons I connected so deeply with this collection of essays. Brandon Washington’s call to let go of a “truncated” gospel that ignores the cross’s mandate to live reconciled. Ben Virgo’s reminder that those who change history are not those who try hard―but those whose lives are rooted in the love of Christ. Danielle Strickland’s call to an evil-fighting activism flowing from hearts that weep alongside the broken. And so much more! This volume compels us from the biblical text and the heart of Jesus to respond with passion to Dr. King’s historic invitation: “If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving”―in solidarity with the God whose love moves him to see every son and daughter’s pain and do all to heal us and set us free.
— J. Kevin Butcher
Executive Director of Rooted Ministries and Author of Free and Choose and Choose Again
Angie Ward and the contributors of The Least of These make a passionate plea to Christians to examine our responsibility and action toward the most vulnerable in our society. The stories written in this critical volume open our eyes and ears to listen, learn, and love one another so that we can transform the world. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks to embody the good news of God’s love.
— Grace Ji-Sun Kim
Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion, author of over twenty-one books (most recently, Invisible), editor of Keeping Hope Alive, and host of The Christian Century’s Madang podcast
The collective wisdom of this book points us toward both hope and courage. I needed to be reminded that when we engage with the pain of our neighbors, we always find a God who is with us all; perhaps you do too. Highly recommend.
— Tim Soerens
Author of Everywhere You Look
This book reminds me to see my own neediness in the mirror. The undocumented, the homeless, and many living in the shadows of unseenness―I could be them in a heartbeat; I am them. This book causes me to see the great need to match my doctrine with my service. This book makes me question if I am “showing my faith by my works” or just sitting in my castle with the drawbridge pulled up―until my day of need comes. Then who will help me? If we do not step up, who will? This book hurts where I need it. It’s time to be real.
— Dr. Alejandro Mandes
Author of Embracing the New Samaria and Executive Director of EFCA’s All People Initiative
The Least of These is an incredible compilation that focuses on the humanity of all people. The authors are leaders and practitioners who challenge us to know and do life with people who live at the margins. It even challenges the idea of margins to encounter each person as an equal part of the community.
— Rev. Dr. Leroy Barber
Executive Director of Neighborhood Economics and Cofounder of The Voices Project
The authors of The Least of These thoughtfully invite us to consider how we see ourselves in relationship to our neighbors and push us to reconsider how our religious practices do not always align with how we ought to be in relationship with others. In a time when so many Christians are deconstructing their faith, these authors provide guideposts for those of us ready to start again and again.
— Kathy Khang
Author of Raise Your Voice
The Least of These is a sacred gift to the church. The authors of these essays come together not just to exhort the church to love and draw near to God’s preferred people but also to reveal how their relationships and experiences with those on the margins have transformed their own lives. This book is a beautiful invitation to draw near, love, and be changed.
— Karen Gonzalez
Author of Beyond Welcome: Centering Immigrants in Our Christian Response to Immigration