Total Church On Community

I am continuing to re-read Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post entitled Think Missionary that was essentially a long quote from the book’s first chapter, “Why Gospel”.

The second chapter is entitled ” Why Community”. The section headings of this chapter suggest much about the importance of Christian community in the mission of God. The headings are:

  1. The Christian Community Is Central To Christian Identity
  2. The Christian Community Is Central To Christian Mission

Here are several quotes from the chapter that spoke to me about how important it is for me, as a Christ-follower, to pursue community with other believers.

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An identity that I construct for myself is far removed from an identity that I receive by grace.” (p.40)

 … the Bible shows that we are communal creatures, made to be lovers of God and of others.” (p.40)

I am not autonomous. I am a person-in-community. I cannot be who I am without regard to other people. Into our pervasively individualistic worldview, we speak the Gospel message of reconciliation, unity, and identity as the people of God. This is perhaps the most significant ‘culture gap’ that the church has to bridge.” (p.41)

The authors’ use of the term “culture gap” to describe the “gap” that exists between the individualistic pursuit of life and faith that seems to characterize the lives of most Christians (including me) and the Bible’s teaching on how we are designed for and intended to live in and with a community mind-set was quite convicting.

Chester and Timmis’ teaching on community has been good for me. The Lord has used it to encourage me as my family and I have recently moved from an institutional church that is program-based and attractional in nature to one that is more missional and small-group based.

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You can purchase Total Church here.

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