Friday, December 23, 2011
This is part of a chapter from Brad House's book Community. It is vitally important that we know who we are (in Christ) and what our goal is in the church (to make disciples) so that God can get maximum use of us for His Glory. Go buy this book if you haven't yet.
Here is a brief summary of the aspects of a disciple’s life and how they apply to community:
IMAGE OF GOD (IMAGO DEI) We are image bearers of God, created in his image to proclaim his greatness to the rest of creation. This is who we are, not what we do. This means that we have intrinsic value as his image bearers and that we were created for a purpose—to acknowledge the glory of our Creator. It is from the image of God and the reconciling work of Jesus on the cross6 that we express our identity as disciples of Christ through worship to God, community with the body of Christ, and mission to the world.
IDENTITY Our identity is in Christ. This means that we define ourselves in the same way that God does: by what Jesus has done on the cross. We are not defined by what we have done or by what we do or by the things that we have. Jesus has atoned for our sin, clothed us in righteousness, and adopted us as sons and daughters. This is our identity. As a community, this means that Jesus is our King and Savior. He is our highest affinity, the Bible is our highest authority, and the Trinity is our example for how we live together in community.
WORSHIP We are worshipers. We are created as instruments of worship intended to behold the glory of God and praise the name of Jesus. Therefore, our greatest joy comes when we do what we were created for: worship Jesus. We worship through song, gratitude, prayer, and the way we live our lives. As a community, this means that we worship together and encourage one another to “proclaim the excellencies” of Jesus. Our life together is a proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a corporate act of worship.
COMMUNITY We are the body of Christ created in the image of God, who exists in community.14 The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have eternally existed in relationship with one another as one God in three persons. God is a relational being who created us as relational beings so that we could image him. As a community, this means that we are to reflect the goodness of God and preach the gospel through our lives together. This means loving one another, forgiving one another as Christ forgave us, calling one another to confession and repentance for the purpose of reconciliation, and challenging one another to lives that glorify God.
MISSION We are missionaries created in the image of a sent and sending God. God sent his Son, Jesus, into human history to reconcile himself to us. God is in the business of gathering more worshipers to himself. As his disciples, our mission is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus so that more image bearers would come to a saving faith and worship God. As a community, we are called to live lives together that reflect God’s goodness, mercy, and grace, showing the world around us the saving and transforming love and power of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are called to live our lives intentionally and missionally, not only loving our brothers and sisters, but also engaging with and loving our neighbors. We do this because we are commanded to, and so that hopefully our neighbors will see the glory of God being lived out in our lives, stirring their hearts to answer God’s call for their own salvation.
By keeping our eyes on the vision of being disciples in community, we remain focused on Jesus, following him and enjoying the fruit of being his disciples. If, however, our leadership is reactionary, we risk making disciples that are underdeveloped in some areas of discipleship. This happens when the need we are addressing only requires one or two of the three expressions of our identity. For example, when we focus on care and Bible study, we develop disciples who don’t know how to apply their knowledge to reaching the lost and sharing with others the love they have for one another. In contrast, we want to be a people who, being reconciled to Jesus and one another, exhibit all three expressions out of our identity in Christ.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
This is a great blog post from Britt Merrick on how out ministry for God has to flow from our intimacy with God. It's written with Pastors in mind but I think it is applicable for all who are Christ followers and serve His church.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
This is a great interview with Paul Tripp about everything from marriage, kids, yourself etc. and how Jesus is the answer to your brokenness and the brokenness of those around you. I highly recommend you grab a cup of coffee and take some time to watch/listen to this.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Whether a pastor, community group leader, elder or in any other form of church leadership. I think we all must make a priority to invest in raising up the next generation of leaders. Check out this blog post from The Gospel Coalition about the importance of doing so.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
This page will be a hub for the Community of Cornerstone. All of our Community Group Study Guides will be here as well as articles, book recomendations etc. relating to what it means for the church to walk in community with each other and how we can do it to the Glory and Fame of Jesus.