Book Review: Quotes from The Compelling Community by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop


Quotes from The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop

If community in your local church is not dependent on God’s supernatural Spirit for its lifeblood, it is not evidently supernatural. If it is not evidently supernatural, it is counterfeit community. It’s posing as biblical community but fails to accomplish its purpose. It fails to show off the wisdom of God to the world. (Eph. 3:10). (37)

“We love because he first loved us” (John 4:19) Having stripped everything else away, this is the iridescent, radioactive core of supernatural community on the local church. Supernatural forgiveness drives supernatural love. (44)

When Christians unite around something other than the gospel, they create community that would likely exist even if God didn’t. As a modern-day tower of Babel, that community glorifies their strength instead of God’s. (23)

In this book I’ll define church community as a togetherness and commitment we experience that transcends all natural bonds - because of our commonality in Jesus Christ. Far from being a “nice to have” element of your church, community is core to who you are. (13)

We should aspire for many relationships that exist only because of the gospel. So often, we aim at nothing more than community built on similarity; I want us to aim at community characterized by relationships that are obviously supernatural. (22)

The body of Christ is the fullness of God (Eph. 1:23) and the most visible manifestation of God’s glory in this present age (Eph. 3:10). And so describing community in the local church is like describing the light radiating from the heavenly throne. Community is merely the effect. (30)

All Christians are to be meaningfully and self-consciously committed to a particular body of believers, acting as providers rather than as consumers. And this behavior doesn’t exist to indicate that the are mature Christians , but that they are Christians. (60)

As people with little in common in the world’s eyes love each other as if they are closer than family, all heaven looks on with wonder at what the gospel has created. (73)

At its core, every problem in your congregation is a problem of unbelief. If you want yo form a culture of discipling in your church, your people must believe Jesus’ words. They must believe that “it is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). They must believe that they will grow best as they help others grow. (89)

“Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17) (89)

To see your congregation grow in faith-filled action, saturate them with God’s Word. (89)

The Sunday morning sermon isn’t the finish line for the Word ministry, it’s the starting line. It is the beginning of the real work, as your congregation takes God’s Word and puts it to work through the week. (91)

Prayer is an ordinary means to accomplish supernatural ends. So as ordinary people seeking to cultivate supernatural community, how can we ignore prayer. Yet here we find a strange disconnect. (104)

In the church, we want to see relationships where it is normal to talk about spiritual things. Not where conversation is never about football or kids or politics - but where a conversation with no spiritual grounding would be unusual. (119)

Participation in church activities can be more comfortable than the hard work of building relationships. And an overfilled weekly calendar of events on exacerbates the problem. (138)

Ordinary church members must address each other’s sins. (171)

In Galatians 6:1 “If anyone is caught in any transgressions, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” Turning a blind eye to sin is not an option. (171)

The local church is not evangelism. But the local church should be the power of evangelism. As such, evangelism should be both personal and corporate. It is personal; it generally involves explaining the gospel in the content of a friendship rather than simply bringing someone to church. And it is corporate; without introducing non-Christians to the local church, evangelism ignores the greatest evidence we have for the truth of the gospel. (189)

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