Friday, January 27, 2012

Created For Community: A Review of COMMUNITY by Brad House

We were created for community. The triune God who is essentially community created humanity in his image to live in and grow in community. Realizing this, many churches promote small groups for their members to be intentional about providing a context for genuine Christian community. Small groups are a great idea, but how do you do it, and do it effectively? What does the ideal community look like? Brad House paints a picture of a transformational concept of community in his aptly titled book COMMUNITY.

In COMMUNITY House reveals that we're called to live in community with other believers not primarily as a way to keep members connected to a church, but because it is a response to the incredible grace that God poured out on us collectively as the body of Christ. House begins to present a model of community groups that takes the spiritual journey of its members very seriously. He proposes that community groups serve the three purposes of discipleship, pastoral care, and mission. In this way, House is essentially describing small churches within a larger church. I especially like the idea of pastoral care being provided by one's small group.

COMMUNITY suggests ways for community groups to impact whole neighborhoods and to be incarnational within the community's context. Community groups become a place for people to grow in their faith in Jesus, be taken care of, and carry the grace of Jesus to the world. Because community is something all people strive for, whether they believe in Jesus or not, House's strategy for community groups becomes an attractive picture of what being a part of the tribe of Jesus is like.

COMMUNITY is a great resource for churches wanting to do small groups effectively and transformationally. The examples from Mars Hill church throughout give hope and insight on how to put the book's ideas into practice.

I received this book for free for review from Crossway Books through NetGalley

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