Gospel Communities Are For The Church
Gospel communities are built on the truth of the gospel that saves and restores people to God and brings them into His family as a group of people commissioned by King Jesus to go into the entire world and make disciples of all nations—starting right in our own city and neighborhoods as GCs on mission for Jesus. Gospel Communities are places where people grow as disciples of Jesus while making disciples of Jesus.
We are doing a mini blog series on Gospel Communities (Theological Foundation, GC for an Individual, GC for a Family, GC for a church)
Mini Blog Series:
- Theological Foundation: The Church Church Not On Sunday
- GC for an Individual: 6 Ways Gospel Communities Are Helpful For Individuals
- GC for a Family (2 Blog Posts): In Sickness And In Health, Desperation And The Love Of Discipleship Groups; How Is A Gospel Community A Safe Place For My Family?
- GC for a Church: Gospel Communities Are For The Church
What Does Church Actually Mean?
How many times have you heard yourself say to someone, "I'm going to church"? In our culture we equate the term "church" to somewhere we go for an event. But the reality is the term church actually means a community of God's redeemed people - all who have truly trusted Christ alone for their salvation. From this definition we can say that we don't "go to church" but we "are the church."
Jeff Vanderstelt once tweeted, "To my kids: "Saying 'I go to Church' is like saying 'I go to the Vanderstelts.'" You see the significance of that statement, we are called by Jesus into His family so that makes us the church and we simply do not just go to church. The church is a redeemed people whom Christ has saved, it is not a place where you go once or twice a week. If you are in Christ you are adopted into a family which is called the church.
Being The Church, Not Going To Church
So what does it mean when someone says they go to church on Sunday? At Redeemer we would call Sundays "Family Gatherings.' Family gatherings are intentional weekly gatherings where the church body gathers together to corporately worship God, hear the Word of God preached and practice the sacraments. We do all these things for our good and for God's glory.
Christ is the head of the church, which is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23). He has authority over his people and determines their direction and destiny. Each member of Christ's body serves an important and distinct role, and non have life, power, or ability of any kind apart from Christ (1 Corinthians 12). - ESV Study Bible
From the above definition our lives have distinct roles and important implications. Our lives together are to reflect Jesus Christ and His goodness. So when we say we "go to church" this comes off like Jesus is only apart of our lives only sometimes throughout the week. When we say "we are the church" this implies that everything in our lives is used for Jesus' glory.
How Gospel Communities Help Us Be The Church?
Our culture today has a "me" attitude. We all believe the lie that we are our own person. And yet for those in Christ, who are called to be a part of Christ's church, are called into a family and are called to serve "one another." Jesus calls the church to care for each other, especially to those in the household of God (Gal. 6:10). And Gospel Communities are a place where followers of Jesus have a place where they get to continually learn what it means to follow Jesus with everything they have and are as Jesus disciple.
Gospel Communities are a structure created to help our culture today fight against the "me" attitude and learn what it means to actually be in a community with believers. The church is a redeemed people who are bought with a price, Jesus' blood and with that price each person who is in Christ is just one of many precious ones whom Christ has claimed for himself. God uses his Church to care and protect his people from the "the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Eph. 6:12.
It should not be taken lightly, those who are not apart of a family of believers are in great danger of "being tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Eph 4:14)". Quit believing the lie that you can do everything on your own. You need to realize that this life is not meant to be navigated by yourself. For the bible shows us clearly that as Christians we are called to be dependent people. Dependent on Jesus and dependent on one another.
If you don't take anything else away from this blog, I hope you hear this, it is for your good to be apart of a Gospel Community. This is where you have a place to heal if you need, a place where you can grow, learn to live missionally in your city and a place where you can do all those things for others. May our lives continue to reflect the grace and glory that is in Christ Jesus alone.