Life in Community: Joining Together to Display the Gospel
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Life in Community: Joining Together to Display the Gospel

Moody Publishers / 2015 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW413321


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What makes a community extraordinary?

When people live in community moved by the gospel and marked by the Spirit, great things happen. They commit to one another. They grieve together, sing together, eat, pray, and play together. They love, serve, honor, encourage, and provide for each other gladly. And they live on mission together. Hearts are healed, walls come down, and outsiders come in. No competition. No pretense. No vain conceit. Just full hearts breaking bread and giving freely.

It is nothing short of amazing.

Most of us live in a shadow of what God intended for us. Life in Community calls us into the light. Reclaiming Scripture's stunning vision of gospel-centered community, it inspires us to live in love unbounded. Read it, live it, and join the movement: Help unleash the power of extraordinary community.

6-Week group study included.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0802413323
ISBN-13: 9780802413321

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Author Bio

DUSTIN WILLIS lives in metro Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Renie, and their two children, Jack and Piper. Dustin serves as the coordinator of the Send Network. Before moving to Atlanta, Dustin planted and pastored Midtown Fellowship in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. Find him at @dustinwillis on Twitter.

Editorial Reviews

"Life in Community is an excellent source of knowledge for Christian small groups. Willis not only goes through what a gospel community is, but what it looks like, and how it functions together. The book offers practical advice for everyone. I know I was challenged by this book!"

Reviewed by Jessica McCroskey, Net Galley, Jun 15, 2015

Product Reviews

4.8 Stars Out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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  1. Lights in a Dark World
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    So convicting!
    January 31, 2017
    Lights in a Dark World
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Biblical community is often overlooked in todays church. However, when the church practices this community, things begin to change. People start to not feel lonely, they encourage each other, bear each others burdens, meet each others needs, etc. Willis will challenge you to step up and start living in Biblical community.

    I was so moved by this book! So many times I was reading and realized just how much I need to work on living in Biblical community. As Christians, weve lost sight of what community means. We tend to either be so close knit in our churches that we dont open up to new people, or we focus on missions so much that we neglect our own members. While both are important, we have to find a balance between the two. I highly recommend this book. Im sure it will challenge you!

    **I received this book free from the publisher through the Moody Publishers blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
  2. Mark Evans
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    If you belong to a local church (or not) read this book, asap!
    June 20, 2016
    Mark Evans
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Dustin Willis co-authored the book Life On Mission with Aaron Coe and is now following up with his second Moody Published book, Life in Community | Joining Together to Display the Gospel. Dustins desire is to see everyday people join together in the history-sweeping mission of God.

    Dustin currently serves with the North American Mission Board and speaks across North America. Dustin earned his bachelors degree in marketing from Clemson University and his masters degree from Liberty Theological Seminary. Dustin is a regular contributor at sendnetwork.com.

    Dustin lives in metro Atlanta, with his wife, Renie, and their two children, Jack and Piper.

    *The information above has been copied directly from the authors website.

    http://lifeincommunity.com/the-book/

    http://lifeincommunity.com/blog-1/

    For years I have been trying to encourage others to embrace community, I use the word fellowship. When I discovered this book, I was very excited, and I could not wait to read it. While reading the book, it seemed, at times, that I was reading my own thoughts. Which really isnt that strange, since Dustin and I read the same Bible, and listen to the same Holy Spirit. I could not help but chuckle when I read what he wrote on page ninety-five, my wife and many others tell me that I seek controversy. I constantly have to check my argumentative nature and make sure my motive is for the other persons wellbeing, not for my desire to get into a fight. Yep, we have a lot in common. Our difference, I could not write such a book. Dustin Willis wrote an excellent book, on a much needed subject. I am grateful to Dustin for such a fine book.

    Dustin used Romans 12 as a proof text, as a foundation to propose biblical community. At first I was a little skeptical, uncertain that Romans 12 was the appropriate passage. But, as I continued to read the book, it became clear that Pauls commands to individuals were/are for the benefit of community. Dustin writes about the loneliness that we all experience, and the innate God-given need for community. He emphasized the importance of love, transparency, encouragement, and hospitality. He defines hospitality, to ensure that there is no confusion about what hospitality is (thank-you Dustin). The book contains many passages from Scripture, way to go Dustin! He discusses real people, real scenarios, and even himself. The only chapter that I believe needs improvement, was the chapter discussing suffering (Persevering Together). Since suffering is such a tough topic, no one can fully explain suffering in context, within one chapter. Those who try, always write ambiguously (in my opinion).

    The book is divided into three sections.

    Section 1: Forming Community

    Chapter 1: The Need for Community

    Chapter 2: Common Ground

    Chapter 3: Continuously Transformed

    Section 2: The Values for Living in Community

    Chapter 4: Your Best at the Table

    Chapter 5: No Masks Allowed

    Chapter 6: Hate Can be a Good Thing

    Chapter 7: Glue to the Good

    Chapter 8: Love, Like, and Honor

    Chapter 9: Persevering Together

    Chapter 10: Meeting Needs

    Chapter 11: Pursuing Hospitality

    Section 3: Next Steps for Strong Community

    Chapter 12: Do Something and Start Now

    Dustin provided practical, personal reflection questions at the conclusion of each chapter. The book includes a six week, small group, study guide for the purpose of aiding local churches. I believe, that the role of the church, and the role of individuals within the church, has been misunderstood for a long time. Life in Community, written by Dustin Willis needs to be read by pastors, deacons, church/group leaders and everyone else.

    I have received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program, for an honest review. I have given an honest review
  3. contemplativereflections
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: Life in Community
    May 26, 2016
    contemplativereflections
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    In "Life in Community," Dustin Willis urges Christians to recover the identity of the church as a transformed community on mission. The author points out that as we have been saved through faith in Christ, we are now family members that are joined to live life together and spread the gospel message to those around us. Willis first establishes the foundation of why living in community is important and how the mercy we receive from God becomes the glue that keeps believers together. The author argues that the most effective way to convert unbelievers is to cultivate gospel-infused communities that attract and invite others to come see the precious treasure that we bear within us. The majority of the book then goes on to discuss the many different aspects of living life together such as speaking truth in love, bearing suffering together, and honouring one another. The author uses examples from history, his family, and his church to illustrate the powerful effects of what the gospel can do to not only redeem and transform individuals but entire communities when the people of God come together to live life together through the Spirit. The book is brisk and the author's writing style is fairly engaging with many real-life examples that allow the reader to see how this could take place in their own communities. Each chapter ends with several questions to recap the material and help the reader think more deeply about the points made. At the end of the book, there is a group study guide that provides opportunity for a group of believers to discuss and contemplate how to put the lesson material in action.

    I would recommend all Christians to read this book as it is crucial to have a biblical understanding of what a gospel-transformed community should look like. Without a biblically informed perspective on the local church, we can easily fall into a twisted, selfish view of how the church should serve our own needs. One danger is treating the church as a private members club where we meet together on club days to have fun and talk about life. The other mindset is to view church as a spiritual drop-in clinic where we come in for our weekly dose of spiritual adrenaline. This book however reminds Christians that the church is the family of God formed through the mercy of God, the precious blood of Christ, and the transforming power of the Spirit. Willis makes a crucial point that the church does not exist for our enjoyment but for the glory of God and to fulfill His mission. Thus, when we encourage, love, and care for one another with God's love, we attract others to come and savour the grace and mercy found in the gospel message.

    In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Moody Press in exchange for a book review.
  4. Booklover10
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Every church needs to do this study!
    March 31, 2016
    Booklover10
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It is my opinion that every church needs to go through this book as some sort of small group class. It challenged me, encouraged me, and left me hopeful. I most appreciated the truth that Dustin Willis spoke. He wasn't afraid to make me squirm in my chair or to step on my toes. I was thankful for that because I want to be challenged in my walk with Christ. I also appreciated how he showed the correlation between mission and community. It was a tie that I'm not certain that I had even put together in the complete way that he had.

    Another thing that I appreciated about this book was how easy it was to read. I didn't go to seminary, but I love learning and deepening my relationship with Christ. I was so thankful this book was written so that anyone could read it, which is why I think every church member should go through it. The older generation is typically so good at community because of the generation they grew up in. However, my generation tends to steer towards loneliness and isolation, thanks to technology that can make you "feel" as though you have friends. I liked the challenge he made about the neighborhood you live in and forming relationships with those people and really opening up your house in hospitality.

    My favorite chapter has to be the hospitality chapter because I am in introvert The thought of so many people at my house makes me want to stop before I even start! I liked how he gave me permission to go deep with a few friends while extroverts can go wide instead of as deep. That has stuck with me completely, because that is a typical excuse of mine. I also liked how he defined what hospitality is and what it is not. How often do I fall into the entertainment trap?!

    This book has the ability to be a 6-week small group study. The questions at the end of chapter are deep and require honesty. In fact, there's a whole lot about transparency and getting messy in the lives of others and letting them see your messiness. Amen! I'm excited to go back through this book and hopefully introduce it to my church!

    ______________

    I received this book free from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
  5. Brenda Poinsett
    St. Louis
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Needed for our time
    August 18, 2015
    Brenda Poinsett
    St. Louis
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As someone who writes and speaks about relationships, I fully agree with Willis when he says, "We live in the most connected time in world history, yet as a society we are as isolated as have ever been (page 22)." I've been trying to help women connect; Willis broadens his approach to the church connecting. He supports this biblically and adds authenticity to his message by being honest about his own need for community. And he does this in an easy-to-read format that flows. The book also includes plans for a 6-week small group study. All the way around, this is a good tool for church leaders.
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