Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Building Christian Communities (3)

I am posting my notes on a book called “Building Christians Communities” written by Stephen Clark in 1975.

A basic Christian community is an environment of Christians, which can provide the basic needs of its members to live the Christian life.

  • It must be Christian, organised, large enough (40+) local, complete, and united.

  • The environmental approach is interaction or value orientated.

  • The goal is to get people to interact in a particular way and accept certain values.

Communities are formed by an environmental approach, not a functional approach.
  • When church work becomes more professional, they begin a more functional approach (providing services and organising worship).

  • People can be present and happy at worship without forming community.

Activities should be designed primarily to further the environmental dynamic.
  • Many church activities are good, but they do not build a community of people committed to Christianity.

  • They may be functionally effective, but not environmentally effective. For example, people can be happy at worship without commitment being formed.

  • We should be caution about starting new activities.

  • Activities should be assessed on whether they increase commitment to Jesus and his body.

  • Leaders should not waste efforts shoring up existing activities.

The chief criterion for leadership is the ability to develop community.
  • Leaders emerge as people accept their leadership.

  • Leaders must have a strong relationship with Jesus.

  • Strong communities will provide a continuing supply of leadership.

  • The church needs leaders, who can work with an environmental approach.

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