Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Communities of Grace v. Communities of Performance

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been thinking quite a bit about creating and cultivating a community of grace in our church.  Tim Chester has provided a helpful comparison between communities of performance and communities of grace:

Communities of Performance

  • The leaders appear to have it all figured out
  • The community appears respectable
  • Meetings must be a polished performance
  • Failure is devastating, because identity is found in ministry
  • Actions are driven by duty
  • Conflict is suppressed or ignored
  • The focus is on orthodox behavior (letting people think they have it all figured out)

Communities of Grace

  • The leaders are vulnerable
  • The community is messy
  • Meetings are just one part of community life
  • Failure is disappointing but not devastating, because identity is found in Christ
  • Actions are driven by joy
  • Conflict is addressed in the open
  • The focus is on the affections of the heart (with a strong view of sin and grace)

You would benefit from reading the entire article.  If you find yourself benefiting from this material I would suggest buying Chester’s (along with Steve Timmis) book: Total Church.

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