A few days ago I wrote this post and it triggered some good dialogue with a friend of mine about the gospel and community. This particular section stood out. It was written by Chad Nuss who planted Christos Church in Jeffersontown, KY.
Church community consists of people that are very different, who sin against each other, who don’t like each other from time to time, who do all kinds of bad, hypocritical things–yet they stick together because the call to Christian community is to learn how to die to ourselves for the sake of the Gospel, for the sake of the church, for the sake of community, and for the sake of the glory of God.
Our enjoyment of community does not primarily come from how much we like each other, but from how much we are being rescued from destroying each other by the Gospel! The overflow of joy in the Gospel is joy in each other because we can look at each other and announce the Gospel to each other–the very Gospel that forgives us of sin and helps very different people with very different backgrounds with very different sinful tendencies with very different agendas, frustrations, and preferences come together around a common Savior.
We must be careful that we don’t get fired up and invite people to our community because of how awesome our community is–that is idolatry. We invite people to our community because of how awesome the Savior of the community is and what he is doing to enable our diverse community to gradually die to ourselves and become more and more authentic.