God’s plan for Christian growth is the gospel-centered community of the local church. Dustin Willis reminds us of that reality in his book Life in Community. This is probably the most neglected aspect of the local church.
Willis points to the need for community highlighting the loneliness and isolation that have consumed the life of so many in our society. The answer to that gnawing isolation isn’t found in a Netflix marathon. What is needed Willis shows is for churches to cease placing a false dichotomy between community and mission. Willis in the following chapters provides a picture of what authentic gospel-community is to be and to do. Any idea of a self-centered pursuit of community is quickly removed as Willis highlights the need to serve other. The gospel-community orientates the life of the individual around loving and serving others.
This book is desperately needed in the local church. So many are tempted to treat the local church as a Sunday activity rather than a body of people they are called to live in community with. The vision for community given in this book provides for an organic means of engaging in mission and discipleship within the local church. What we need is not new programs but a return to viewing the church as a community. This book has led me to reevaluate some of my understanding of the priorities of the local church and I hope it will do the same for you.
Disclosure: I received this book free from from the publisher for providing this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html