Living The Gospel-Centered Life
As vast numbers of people gather to form massive cities, still there is a famine when it comes to a sense of community in large cities. We, as the church, must pray for the Holy Spirit to help us do two things: 1) May God help us to love one another fervently and in such a way that our neighbors see it. "By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another." How will they know? Only if they can see the love. 2) May God help us to clearly speak the gospel into each other's lives and into the lives of our neighbors. If we are empowered to do these two things we will have been faithful as witnesses of our God and Savior. I love many of the things written by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester in their book, "Total Church." They emphasize that the church is a gospel-centered community and that the gospel is a community-centered gospel. By community-centered gospel, they mean that believing the gospel places us in a community of believers and reconciles us to God and to them. God did not intend for there to be "lone ranger" Christians; nor did He intend "just me and my Bible" Christians. The gospel orients us to love God, one another, and an unbelieving world. Timmis and Chester also view evangelism as a community endeavor, i.e., the gospel is best seen in both a clear proclamation of the gospel message and in the public display of a community of people formed by the gospel. The church is to be a model community to the cities around us. By the power of the gospel we are enabled to be such a city.