Compelling Community

Posted: September 18, 2011 in apologetics, books, community, evangelism, gospel, small groups, video

Do you long for more meaningful and transformational relationships with other Christians?  Do you want to see Christ’s words proved true among the lost in your neighborhood: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)?  I do.

Leslie Newbigan once wrote,

I have come to feel that the primary reality of which we have to take account in seeking for a Christian impact on public life is the Christian congregation…The only hermeneutic [framework for interpretation] of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it.

In other words, the most compelling evangelistic tool that Christians possess is a presentation of Christ in the context of a Gospel-centered community of believers.  How we live our lives together, as God’s people, is a powerful witness to the truth of our claims.

With that in mind, check out this short video:

This is a trailer for Bob House’s new book entitled, Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support.  Along with Total Church, this looks like another great resource to help evangelical Christians embrace their dual calling to Gospel-community and Gospel-mission.

From the publisher:

Brad House calls on churches to wake up to the possibilities for life-transforming, gospel ministry through small groups. In recent years Mars Hill Church, based in Seattle, has experienced the rich blessings that exist within healthy community groups. In Community, House provides a resource for other churches to experience these blessings.

House examines healthy, gospel-centered small groups in three sections. In the first, he lays a foundation for the need and purpose of small-group community. He then presents a big-picture “health plan” for small groups, looking closely at the nuts and bolts of small-group ministry. The book ends with a practical section detailing ways churches can move forward to missional small groups that bless each other, the church, and their communities.

With wisdom and candor, House helps churches think carefully about the state of their own small groups and, where necessary, take steps toward a healthier, gospel-centered community. Pastors and church leaders, as well as small groups, will find this guide to be a catalyst in their growth and development.

Regarding the book, Steve Timmis, author of Total Church, writes:

When people think of Mars Hill, Seattle, they probably of a big church that’s big on preaching. In this helpful book, Brad House shows that it is far more than that. But this book isn’t merely a description of how Mars Hill does small groups. This is a thoughtful and thorough treatment of the what, why, and even how of gospel-centered, community-focused, mission-shaped small groups. I’ve been doing church this way for years, and there is a great deal in here to help me as I learn how to do life-on-life, together on mission with the people of God

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