Streetwalking With Jesus


Published in April 2011, “Streetwalking with Jesus: Reaching out in Justice and Mercy” (OSV, 2011) uses stories of men from Emmaus Ministries and life lived in the unique urban neighborhood of Uptown Chicago to challenge readers to consider living a deeper, more missional life.

From the Coverjacket by Our Sunday Visitor Publishers:

For over two decades John Green’s vocation had been ministering to inner city men on the margins of society in downtown Chicago.

Green didn’t set out to be another Dorothy Day or Mother Teresa, and would be quick to tell you he hasn t become one. A product of middle class, church-going comfort and values, he heeded God’s challenge to found Emmaus Ministries, which serves some of the modern-day lepers that are in our midst. Struck by the words of Micah 6:8 and the act of a homeless man who gruesomely ended his life in Green’s presence, Green vowed to constantly ask himself: How can I live justly? To whom do I show mercy? How may I walk humbly with God?

Deacon Green’s lessons learned regarding these hard questions are set against stories of men who struggle to escape poverty, addiction, and sexual sin while encountering Christ in the process. But this book is much more than the account of how one ministry combats a social problem to which most of us wish to remain blind. It is about finding joy in service to others and experiencing love in reaching out to the suffering, all under the shelter of God’s unconquerable, abiding love.

Yes, Streetwalking with Jesus will sober you, but with links to evocative songs, a scripture selection to reflect upon, discussion questions, and a prayer at the end of every chapter, you ll come away challenged and inspired to live a deeper, more missional life.

Click here to download the full Press Release from Our Sunday Visitor Publishers.

Click this link to go to and purchase your copy of Streetwalking with Jesus: Reaching Out in Justice and Mercy


“‘Streetwalking with Jesus’ is one of the most intelligent and compelling calls to discipleship I’ve read in the past decade. Rooted in the experience of Chicago’s Emmaus Ministries and Green’s extraordinary outreach to male prostitutes — men often numbered among the most forgotten and despised of America’s street people — this book is a vivid portrait of what real Christian witness looks like. It will leave you examining your own love of God and your own Christian faith with new eyes, and a new hunger to do more.”

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia


“The work of Deacon John and Carolyn Green through Emmaus Ministries is the real deal, a living example of the love, persistence, patience, and grace of Christ poured out on the least of the least among us. Their passion, integrity and vision draws Christians of all stripes together to demonstrate in person the power of the Gospel, manifest both in word and deed in the lives of male prostitutes. This moving account of that work will bless and challenge readers to open our eyes to the broken brothers around us who need the stubborn love that John’s ministry provides.”

Stanton L. Jones, Ph.D., Provost and Professor of Psychology, Wheaton College, Wheaton IL


“Deacon John Green writes eloquently of grace and reconciliation on the streets of Chicago, thus revealing the dynamic power of the Spirit to transform hopeless lives. Streetwalking with Jesus introduces you to real ministry on the margins and shows how the power of shared vision actually works when gospel ecumenism is rooted in our common witness to Jesus Christ.”

Dr. John H. Armstrong, President, ACT 3; Author of Your Church Is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ’s Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church


“John Green weaves his journey with the narrative of Scripture and the narrative of lives lived on the street. The result is a threefold cord — a cord not easily broken– that tethers the compassion of God to the streets of Chicago. John sees the world of the marginalized through the eyes of God — that is to say he sees broken people and tragic things with the eyes of love. What he sees heals, convicts, and gives us all reason to think again about what it means to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God”

Adele Calhoun, co minister- Redeemer Community Church, Wellesley/Needham MA. Author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us

“Two thousand years ago, Jesus walked the streets ministering to the marginalized in society. John Green does the same with Emmaus Ministries. In this book, you will meet people who have been changed by John’s loving heart, compassionate ears and pavement-pounded shoes. You will also discover one of the great lessons of ministry: ‘one-on-on is how it’s done.’ This book brought me right back to the essentials of a Jesus-inspired lifestyle.”

Albert Haase, OFM, author of This Sacred Moment: Becoming Holy Right Where You Are


“John Green is a man whose heart beats with justice and mercy, and he certainly walks humbly with his God. He is a man with a vision to help the sexually broken, a segment of society that is largely ignored even by the church. As you read through the pages of “Streetwalking With Jesus”, you’ll be challenged to think more deeply about your own faith journey, and certainly challenged to pray for the ‘least of these’.”

Anita Lustrea, Host & Executive Producer of Midday Connection- Moody Radio


“Having known John and his ministry firsthand for many years I can say that reading Streetwalking with Jesus brought back vivid memories, just as it will conjure up the imagination of those who have never met John in person. His descriptions of the spiritual journey that eventually led him to Uptown and of the people he has encountered in ministry make the reader feel as if he is “streetwalking with John.” More than that, the “Digging Deeper” sections at the end of each chapter do not allow the reader to walk away from the loving concern God has for hurting people and for his justice and mercy to prevail. John’s book challenges us to engage in introspection about our own relationships with God and the people we encounter (or ignore) every day. If one has a heart that is breakable, the reader of John’s book may just pocket his iPhone as he hurries off to the next meeting in order to see people on city streets through the eyes of Jesus.”

Dennis Okholm, PhD., Professor of Theology, Azusa Pacific University and author of Monk Habits for Everyday People: Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants


“If Jesus were incarnate on earth today where would he walk? To whom would he minister? With whom would he break bread? In Street Walking with Jesus John Green takes his readers on a journey that answers these questions. In so doing he has written an instant “classic” for all those yearning to follow the path of Christ. Green transports readers to the underbelly of modern urban life—to places littered with despair, addiction, poverty, and terrifying physical and sexual violence. He takes us on a journey to find lost sheep who have wandered, fallen, or been cast to the outer most margins of society. He leads us through dark and dangerous streets to bring us face to face and heart to heart with men in prostitution—men society has largely forgotten, terribly vilified and horribly abused. Through the riveting real life accounts of more than 20 years of ministry to men who survive on Chicago’s gritty streets by selling their bodies, Green puts flesh and bone on what it means to be the Body of Christ to those in need. Read this book at the risk of having your spirit shaken, of having your heart and soul rent with compassion for “the least of these.” Read this book at the risk of learning that genuine Christian ministry isn’t about keeping scorecards for Jesus, but about sharing the light and love of the Gospel one meal, one hug, one prayer, one hospital visit, one night of outreach at a time. Read this book at the risk of being called to make a living sacrifice of your life to the God who requires justice, mercy, and humility.”

Lisa L. Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking, The Salvation Army National Headquarters


“The highest compliment that I can give to John Green’s Streetwalking with Jesus is that it opens us to the very heart of God. As I read the stories of John’s engagement with the broken lives on the streets of Chicago, I saw more deeply the compassionate heart of Jesus who both identifies with our brokenness and is outraged by the evil forces that create it. A crucial theme that runs throughout God’s Word that we in the Christian community desperately need to embody is that our God is on the side of the discarded people of this world. John Green takes us to the streets where male prostitutes hang out, tells their stories, breaks our heart, and compels us to action.”

Greg Ogden, Executive Pastor of Discipleship, Christ Church of Oak Brook, IL


“Well all I can say is I laughed, I wept and punched my fist in the air with a big YES. An incredible down-to-earth story that will challenge your socks off. This book should be in the hands of anyone wanting to journey alongside those in prostitution.”

Josephine Wakeling, Practitioner and Advocate, UK

About the author: John Green

John Green is the founder of Emmaus Ministries, a non-profit ministry to male prostitutes in Chicago. Emmaus Ministries’ innovative outreach has been featured in numerous Christian and secular television shows, radio broadcasts, magazines and newspapers. John completed a BA in Christian Education from Wheaton College and an MA in Educational Ministries from Wheaton College graduate school in 1992, and in 1997 he earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He is a frequent speaker on issues relating to male prostitution, urban ministry, evangelization, and peace and justice work. His wife Carolyn is a nationally performing singer/songwriter. The Green’s have three sons and a daughter. They lived in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago directly in back of Emmaus Ministries for 20 years and relocated to northeast Ohio in 2009. John is an ordained Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and serves at Holy Family Parish in Stow Ohio.

Click here for an extended bio on John and Carolyn Green.

Click here for a hi-res photo of John.

About  the collaborator: Dawn Herzog Jewell

Dawn Herzog Jewell is the author of Escaping the Devil’s Bedroom: Sex Trafficking, Global Prostitution, and the Gospel’s Transforming Power (Monarch 2008). She is also a freelance writer published in Christianity Today and its sister magazines.

Her real job is publications manager for Media Associates International (MAI), a ministry that equips writers and publishers around the world. She loves writing and speaking about the global Church and equipping others to reach the nations for Christ.

Dawn has an M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School. She has previously worked for the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College and World Relief. She and her husband live in the Chicago suburbs with their son, although Dawn still pines for snow-capped peaks and mist-covered islands near Seattle, her hometown.

About the musicians: GreenChoby

At the end of each chapter of “Streetwalking with Jesus” there is a link to music from GreenChoby that relates to the chapters focus. GreenChoby is a partnership of singer songwriter Carolyn Green and musician Mike Choby.  Their rootsy-style wonderfully combines the grit of the inner city with the sweetness of life based on hope.

The duo joined forces back in 1995 when bassist Mike Choby saw singer-songwriter Carolyn Green perform at a coffeehouse in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.  That first meeting led to a rehearsal, many Persian dinners, many more gigs, five CD projects, and a friendship that has lasted over fifteen years.

Their latest project, “Carry Me Back Home” was released in June of 2009 and is a beautiful follow-up to their first self-recorded project, “Hold the Line” from 2004.

About the illustrator: Brian Bakke

Besides being a gifted artist and illustrator, Brian Bakke is the Director for the Americas at the Mustard Seed Foundation located outside Washington D.C.

The Mustard Seed Foundation is a Christian family foundation established in 1983 under the leadership of Dennis W. Bakke and Eileen Harvey Bakke. The Foundation was created as an expression of their desire to be faithful stewards of the financial resources entrusted to them, to bring together the members of their extended families into common ministry, and to advance the kingdom of God.

The Foundation provides grants to churches and Christian organizations worldwide that are engaged in ministry including outreach, discipleship, and economic empowerment. The Foundation also awards scholarships to Christians pursuing advanced educational degrees in preparation for leadership roles in both the Church and society. All directors and staff of the Mustard Seed Foundation are committed followers of Jesus Christ. The Foundation affirms the Lausanne Covenant as its missional commitment to the world.

Brian and his wife Lisa live in Washington D.C. More information on MSF can be found here.




Read Chapter One

Click here and download a PDF of the first Chapter.

Book Release Party April 2011

Author John Green and Francis Cardinal George

The following videos were taken by Emmaus Ministries supporter and volunteer Carl Jylland-Halverson at the official book release celebration for Streetwalking with Jesus, held at St. Eugene’s Church in Chicago IL in April 2011.  Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and writer of the Foreward in Streetwalking With Jesus, gave some remarks on the importance of ministries like Emmaus.  Brian Bakke, the illustrator of each chapter, was on hand with descriptions of each of the chapters artwork.  Many Emmaus supporters were at the event.





Cardinal George’s address

John speaking about why he wrote the book

Brian Bakke, who illustrated each chapter shares some thoughts.

GreenChoby performs

Music duo, Carolyn Green and Mike Choby, whose music is featured in the book perform at the book signing.

More video!

Yet more video!



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