inexpressible and filled with glory


Community as Identity
23 December 2009, 8:38 am
Filed under: Books, Gospel Community | Tags: , ,

Check out Tim Chester’s latest post on Community as Identity. Tim Chester has been one guy who has influenced my thinking a lot this year in the two main ministries in which I am involved – LiVE (our young adults community) and my youth ministry work with Voice of the Martyrs. His two books that have particularly influenced me in these areas are Total Church and The Ordinary Hero respectively.

Total Church is a challenging call to a radical reshaping around gospel and community. It is my hope and prayer that as we continue to do life together at LiVE that we will be continually transformed to have a greater love and commitment to the gospel, to one another and to our community.

The Ordinary Hero has really consolidated a lot of the stuff that I am trying to communicate to youth when I speak to them about the persecuted church. Chester talks about the pattern of suffering followed by glory. This is not only true for Jesus’ life and mission but also for the life and mission of those who follow him.

The call to this radical life of discipleship is hard (both in the context of community and suffering), but it is a life filled with joy and hope as we look forward to sharing in the glory of our Lord in the new creation. Here are some of the things that Chester says in his latest post about Community as Identity:

The church is not a building you enter. Nor is it a meeting your attend. It is not what you do on a Sunday. To be a Christian is to be part of God’s people and to express that in your life through belonging to a local Christian community.

This is exactly what we have been trying to communicate at LiVE.

We belong to one another (Romans 12:5). If a car belongs to me then I am responsible for it and I decide how it should be used. If a person belongs to me them I am responsible for them and I am involved in their decisions.

While at the outset life in community is fun and easy, the longterm commitment to and love for one another is hard and messy. But this is our call to bring the gospel into one another’s lives and see the transformation and reconciliation that comes from life in Christ. This is true life and true joy – sharing not only in the sufferings of Christ, but also in his glory and resurrection.

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