Total Church Conference
Speaker: Steve Timmis
Session 1: A Community Centered Gospel
Church planters don’t need a new shtick or new things. What we need is the gospel.
What is the Gospel? (Col. 1:3-6) The gospel is the word of truth that works. What does it do? It is constantly bearing fruit. It is the good news, the arrival of the Kingdom because of the arrival of the King. The evangelical emphasis has been on the individual. But where we (evangelicals) miss it most is in view of community. The ultimate goal of the gospel is an exalted Christ with his people. Christ without his people is incomplete.
What is the Church? Communities of light in a dying decaying world. The prevailing view of church is an event. If you doubt this, how many people hours are invested in that meeting? (Planning, sermon prep, worship practice, etc.) We know what we believe by how we behave. It is a static view of church vs. a dynamic view. Most of the recent debates on church center around what happens in this meeting (worship wars, preaching styles).
The church is a life together under the reign of the King. It is this corporate life together as a redeemed people pointing to the future. By our life together we are telling people, “this is what the future will look like.” If the event is what is pointing to the future, “God help us!” We should reverse engineer the future and set things up to line up with that now.
There are 630 laws and 3 events given by God. God was more concerned with the nitty gritty of life together. (eg. to build a small wall around a flat roof, how to harvest). Our gospel needs to be community centered.
Q: The Historical church has been defined by preaching, discipline & the Sacraments. Are you moving away from these positions? Small quote from Steve’s answer: The way the vast majority of Christians celebrate communion has no bearing at all on how the New Testament portrays it.
Q: How do we facilitate creating communities sent into the ‘city’ versus ‘small groups’?
Q: How do you view the tension of the focus on the community in the OT and the focus on the individual in the NT?
NOTE: These are the videos and the notes I took from the first sessions. The video recordings and q/a recordings for all the sessions and audio from the breakouts will be uploaded in the next couple weeks to Church Bootcamp.