Communities of performance vs communities of grace

Tim Chester lists some characteristics of communities of performance vs communities of grace.

Communities of Performance

  1. People talk about grace, but communicate legalism
  2. Unbelievers can’t imagine themselves as Christians
  3. Drive away broken people
  4. The world is seen as threatening and ‘other’
  5. Conversion is superficial—people are called to respectable behavior
  6. People are secretly hurting
  7. People see faith and repentance as actions that took place at conversion
  8. The gospel is for unbelievers

Item #1 is probably the biggest issue in most churches I have been in.  But this leads to #5 – a condition we can rarely spot – which leads us to think people are ok but in fact they are more likely struggling with #6 or even at times #7.  I think I have often been guilty of this.  This could partly explain why so many I knew who seemed to be running well, have walked away from the faith?

Communities of Grace

  1. People can see grace in action
  2. Unbelievers feel like they can belong
  3. Attract broken people
  4. People are loved as fellow sinners in need of grace
  5. Conversion is radical—people are called to transformed affections
  6. People are open about their problems
  7. People see faith and repentance as daily activities
  8. The gospel is for both unbelievers and believers

Point #5 – transformed affections – that is big stuff.  The biggest problem in most churches is transformed/respectable behaviour but affections are untouched.  as a result no #7, #8 and people like #3 just do not even bother.


~ by John on April 8, 2009.

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