God loves community. He is in the process of transforming not just individuals, but a people for Himself made up of men and women from different races, nations, and languages. The reason behind this love for community is the very nature of God Himself. He exists in community as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is one God revealed and self-relating in three persons.
Genesis 1:26, Matthew 3:13-17, Revelation 7:9
The Bible begins with a relationship between God and the people He created. He commanded the first couple, Adam and Eve, to multiply and fill the earth. From this family, God chose a nation, Israel, to be in close relationship with and to represent Him to the rest of the world. The Old Testament tells the story of God’s relationship with Israel. Out of this nation came the Messiah, Jesus Christ, through whom God chose people from every corner of the earth to join in relationship with Him in the Church. The New Testament details the history and story of the Church. At the end of time, all of His people from all of history will join with God in the New Creation. What began with a family alone with God in a Garden ends with a city filled with people in intimate fellowship with Him forever.
Genesis 1:28, 17:4, Exodus 6:7, Ephesians 1:22-23, Revelation 21-22
People who follow and identify themselves with Jesus Christ gather together for worship, discipleship, accountability, fellowship, and service in local churches. Jesus gives each of His followers spiritual gifts to minister in the church and to serve the poor, the dispossessed, and widows and orphans. He also commissions His people to go throughout the entire world to tell every person about Jesus Christ and invite them into a forever, intimate relationship with Him.
Matthew 28:16-20, 1 Corinthians 12, James 1:26-27
Dr. Tim Keller: The Missional Church
Dr. Alan Hirsch: The Mission of the Church
Mark Driscoll: The Church
John Piper: Church Membership
Mark Dever: Characteristics of a Healthy Church