thoughts on church as community

Some thought provoking comments from a book I’ve just got hold of called ‘Total Church’:

“The church, then, is not something additional or optional. It is at the very heart of God’s purposes. Jesus came to create a people who would model what it means to live under his rule. It would be a glorious outpost of the kingdom of God: an embassy of heaven. This is where the world can see what it means to be truly human.

Our identity as human beings is found in community, Our identity as Christians is found in Christ’s new community. And our mission takes place through communities of light. Christianity is ‘total church’.

If you warm to this vision of Christian community then start where you are. Sell the vision by modelling the vision. Don’t become a pain to your exisiting congregation, telling them everything they are doing is wrong. Become a blessing by offering hosptitality, shopwing practical care, dropping in on people. Create around you a group of Christians who will share their lives and encourage one another in the faith.

You might start with your home group. Often home groups are little more than a meeting. Make yours a community by acting like a community. You don’t have to mount a campaign for change – just get on with it and make community infectious. Create asomething that other people want to be a part of. And think about whether you could establish a context in which people in your church can hang out together and invite unbeleiving friends: something like a regular cafe night, an open home or football practice.”

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church: A radical reshaping around gospel and community (Nottingham: IVP, 2007), 48.

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Filed under church, community, small groups

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