Scripture Has No Other Concept of Christian

Some churches fall short of this biblical vision [of supernatural community] because they are allergic to any kind of formality – and don’t have membership at all.  Other churches have membership but don’t manage it carefully.  Theirs is not meaningful membership, and thus they do not call Christians to commitment that is in any way significant.  And still other churches attempt the coexistence of meaningful membership with a consumer-focused “selling” of the benefits of church commitment.  in contrast to these shortcomings, we must call Christians to real discipleship of Christ: discipleship that involves significant, self conscious commitment to the local church.  Scripture has no other concept of Christian.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 61

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A Visible Sign

Our love for each other is the visible sign that we grasp the love of an invisible God.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 45

Motivational Needs is a Clear Indication of Spiritual Health

In fact, one sign that many in your congregation are not regenerate is how hard you have to work to motivate them.  If an attractional ministry has gathered a congregation of Christians in name only, you will have to manipulate or coerce them into acting like followers of Jesus.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 46

Community is Merely the Effect

God is immortal.  He “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no on e has ever seen or can see” (I Timothy 6:16).  So how do we learn about him?  Through his Word.  And how do we perceive his glory? Primarily through the church.  The body of Christ is the fullness of God (Ephesians 1:23) and the most visible manifestation of God’s glory in this present age (Ephesians 3:10).  And so describing community in the local church is like describing the light radiating from the heavenly throne.  The point is not the community; the point is God.  Community is merely the effect.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 29

Consumerism is Dangerous

Consumerism is dangerous.  Healthy churches need providers, not consumers.  After all, if consumers fill our pews, who’s going to turn on the lights?  Who’s going to staff children’s ministry?  Who’s going to welcome people at the door?  Advocating for commitment in a local church would seem as controversial as advocating for Jesus.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 49

Christian Conception of Church

Neopaganism and secularization, pragmatism and ignorance are all serious problems with churches today.  But I am convinced that the problem most fundamentally lies in the way Christians conceive of their churches.  Too many churches misunderstand the priority that they are to give to God’s revelation and the nature of the regneration He offers therein.  Reevaluating these must be a part of any solution to the problems of today’s churches.

 

by Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, copyright 2000, page 12