Darrel Guder on Missional Communities

“The basic unit of Christian community is formed and lives out its witness in particular places, where its members can gather regularly for worship and work.  Proximity, frequency of direct contact with one another, mutually supportive relationships, sharing of resources, struggling and growing together in the faith – these characteristics of a Christian community define its shape.

This is not, however simply a sociological or organizational necessity.  It is essential to the missio Dei.  The witness to God’s loving and saving work in history is through the people God calls and sets apart for this mission.  Evey mission community is a historical witness to the work of God being carried out; it is concrete evidence of God’s purposeful action.  This is what the Holy Spirit does: it forms mission communities so that the gospel may be incarnated in particular places, to be the witness to Jesus Christ.

Any understanding of the Christian church which does not emphasize the concrete and historical reality and the centrality of local and particular communities is docetic: it is not taking with great seriousness God’s mission and the incarnation of that mission in Jesus Christ and his church.”

Darrel Guder: The Continuing Conversion of the Church p145-146

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~ by John on April 9, 2009.

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