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
The key to maturity is time and community. Discernment takes time and a lot of godly input spanning generations and ethnicities. There’s a reason why the Psalms have been sung for thousands of years, and why many young people still know “Amazing Grace,” even if they barely know “Shine, Jesus, Shine” and have never (happily) ever heard of “In the Garden.” A consensus of believers in churches over a few generations has a way of weeding out the less edifying songs.
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 63
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
Truly believing the gospel produces in us a concern for the poor, a love of Scripture, a desire to be in authentic community, a love for holiness, and everything else that is part of the Christian life. Those behaviors are the results of (or, fruits of) faith in the gospel. Believing precedes right behaving.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page
The joyful Christian is one who has retained a sense of awe and wonder before God, one who has existentially experienced membership in a redeemed community.
– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 35
Through table fellowship Jesus ritually acted out His insight into Abba’s indiscriminate love – a love that cause His sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and His rain to fall on the honest and dishonest men alike (Matthew 5:45). The inclusion of sinners in the community of salvation, symbolized in table fellowship, is the most dramatic expression of the ragamuffin gospel and the merciful love of the redeeming God.
– Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, copyright 1990, 2000, page 60
Christianity looks like an enemy of social cohesion, cultural adaptability and even authentic person-hood. However, this objection is based on mistakes about the nature of truth, community, Christianity, and of liberty itself.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 37