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Having Nothing, Possessing Everything
Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places
Michael Mather
Foreword by Fr. Gregory Boyle

PAPERBACK; Published: 10/18/2018
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7483-2
Price: $ 19.99
160 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Pastor Mike Mather arrived in Indianapolis thinking that he was going to serve the poor. But after his church’s community lost nine young men to violence in a few short months, Mather came to see that the poor didn’t need his help—he needed theirs.

This is the story of how one church found abundance in a community of material poverty. Viewing people—not programs, finances, or service models—as their most valuable resource moved church members beyond their own walls and out into the streets, where they discovered folks rich in strength, talents, determination, and love.

Mather’s Having Nothing, Possessing Everything will inspire readers to seek justice in their own local communities and to find abundance and hope all around them.

Craig Dykstra
— Duke Divinity School
What does it look like to live as if the gospel were true? This animating question has inspired and driven the remarkable ministries of the two urban congregations that Mike Mather has served during his three decades of pastoral ministry. He tells powerful, life-changing stories about seeing abundance where no one expects it and finding treasures in people and neighborhoods that most of us typically dismiss out of hand. Having Nothing, Possessing Everything is powerful and true at every level.”
Lisa Sharon Harper
— author of The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right
“It’s hard to see what we don’t see—especially when it is hidden from us. White Christians across the US owe Michael Mather a debt of gratitude. He has opened up his life and story and offered an opportunity to see what has been hidden—through his eyes. Walk with him on this journey of transformation. It will be worth it.”
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
— author of Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion
“How would the story of America be different if the first Christians to come to this land had assumed that God was already present among its peoples? It’s hard to imagine. But reading the story Mike has to tell in this book helps to stir our imagination that we might learn, one community at a time, to become the nation we’ve never yet been.”
Heidi Neumark
— author of Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx
“We live in a time when many churches are anxious over scarcity. Here is a book to turn that paradigm inside-out and upside-down, like the gospel itself. Michael Mather shares his journey as an urban pastor through decades of personal and communal transformations that challenge stale assumptions about want and plenty. With humility and generosity, Mather shares an abundance of hard-won insight, helpful ideas, and inspiration for church leaders longing to approach their work with fresh eyes and to flourish in unforeseen ways.”
John McKnight
— Northwestern University
“In our times, many religious leaders suffer the despair of impossibility. The faithful seem trapped in the consumer culture, the church trapped by institutionalism. Nonetheless, there is a path to possibility. Having Nothing, Possessing Everything describes the adventures of a pastor who has walked that path. He discovers the gifts that surround him. He walks into the unknown, and the invisible becomes visible. He goes surrounded by neighbors—never alone. When you read this book, you will discover the joyful possibility of another way.”

Anna Jedrziewski in Retailing Insight

"This is a book about hope and helping in the face of extreme disparagement and despair. Anchored in Christian tradition, there is little in this book that will be off-putting to people of other (or no) religious persuasions. It is a book about connecting rather than dividing."

St. Anthony Messenger
“These stories of transforming people and communities will change your outlook.”