Ben Zornes's Reviews > Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission

Everyday Church by Tim Chester
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really liked it
bookshelves: christian-living, commentaries, church-leadership, preaching-pastoral

Chester and Timmins exposit the book of 1 Peter to demonstrate what Christian fellowship and community should look like. They are not concerned with creating new "programs" in which to squish people into. All too often, churches can tend to start programs which their people must serve, rather than programs which actually serve the people. They put it this way, "Programs are what we create when Christians are not doing what they're supposed to do in everyday life." This book was quite insightful, a refreshing reminder that Christian community need not be complicated or overly "programmatic." Humans are organic, but this does not mean there shouldn't be any sort of organizational ordering of our fellowship and interaction. However, it ought to go "with the grain" of everyday life. Rather than piling on the burden of more meetings, programs and events, Chester and Timmins remind us, "It is not simply that ordinary Christians live good lives that enable them to invite friends to evangelistic events. Our lives are the evangelistic events."

They look at how modern western culture is increasingly "distant" from the Church, and rather than panic about being marginalized, they encourage the immense necessity for vibrant Gospel community. In fact, "We have been saved to be God's holy people, to be Christ's bride, to be a new family." Thus, this new family, saturated in the Gospel should be so vibrant and alive with joy and fellowship as to expose the deep need which unbelievers or "the dechurched" have, drawing them to the Lord Jesus through His body, the Church, as she lives daily in Community. I appreciated the wise and circumspect way in which this book approached the topic of forming and encouraging community in a congregation. In one place they put it this way, "Gospel community matters. But this does not mean the gospel Word is less important.[...] [One] problem is that the desire for community with people can outgrow our desire for community with God." While they did use a few of the buzzwords of this topic (i.e. the overuse of the word missional as an adjective), the whole book was judicious, careful, and most importantly, followed their chosen Scripture text (1 Peter) very closely. This was a "pastoral commentary;" helpful in putting the passages into "live action."

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 31, 2017 – Shelved
October 31, 2017 – Shelved as: christian-living
October 31, 2017 – Shelved as: commentaries
October 31, 2017 – Shelved as: church-leadership
October 31, 2017 – Shelved as: preaching-pastoral

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