As we prepare for a year focused on “Becoming a Gospel Community” I wanted to share a few resources and books that have already been helpful to me in studying and planning for this year. If you are looking for a good book to read, I would recommend these below as they will help you grow and keep you focused on our theme.
I am reading Scripture daily through this app in 2019 and I would encourage you to join me. I have a list of almost 50 people who are doing it with me. The app uses the ESV and organizes your daily reading with reminders. Each day includes a psalm for prayer and there are helpful videos to explain what you are reading. To know the gospel, we must read Scripture!
2. Everyday Church, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
The ministers are reading this book during the first quarter of the year. The book is about being a
“gospel community on mission.” The authors use 1 Peter as their main text and talk about approaching church, mission, and community from an “everyday” perspective. To be a gospel community is more than worshiping one day a week but sharing life together and engaging our neighborhoods with Jesus.
Bates makes the argument that our word “faith” does not fully communicate what the original Greek word pistis actually meant. He suggests the word “allegiance” gets more at the heart. Faith is about loyalty, commitment, and submission. The gospel is not just about Christ saving us, but Christ being our Lord. Our response of faith is to express allegiance and live obediently before Him.
This book is more academic in nature, but it is really good. Gorman says that the gospel is not something that we believe, but that we become. The gospel is to fill our community where we are living out the gospel before a watching world. When the church demonstrates the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in her interactions and life, we truly become witnesses to the gospel.