You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘What is ‘church’?’ category.

A number of people ask me what a ‘Gospel Community’ is about – how it differs from a small group or a home group.

Well, last night I had the best experience of what a Gospel Community is about and it may give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about… Read the rest of this entry »


This recently appeared on the Desiring God website (John Piper’s…)

(Author: David Mathis)

Total Church book coverA pair of Brits have a provocative book appearing in the States this month. Tim Chester and Steve Timmis published Total Church in the UK last year, and enough readers here have found it helpful to prompt Crossway Books and Mark Driscoll’s Resurgence ministry to pick up the title in the Re:Lit series. You can watch Tim Chester introduce the book at Crossway’s blog.

Chester’s and Timmis’s refrain for what they are advocating in the book is “ordinary life with gospel intentionality.” They make a case for the church’s need to exercise “dual fidelity” to the content of the spoken gospel and the context of a relational community.

Tim Chester kindly agreed to answer a few questions below for the DG blog. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m writing a paper on ‘What is the pattern of church life and church meetings in the New Testament’. As part of that I’m reading Banks’ book ‘Paul’s idea of community’.

There’s a fair bit I disagree with in this book, but something I just read got me thinking. If you can’t be bothered to read the whole quote he essentially says that the Protestant practice of having a book at the centre of our meetings is actually something taken over from the Synagogue, and not Paul’s idea of church…

Interested? Read on and please comment – I’d really like to know what people think… Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year!

I’m writing a paper on revival and missiology, and came across this quote which got me thinking…

“The churches shaped by the Reformation were left with a view of the church that was not directly intended by the Reformers, but nevertheless resulted from the way that they spoke about the church. Those churches came to conceive the church as ‘a place where certain things happened.’ The Reformers emphasized as the ‘marks of the true church’ that such a church exists wherever the gospel is rightly preached, the sacraments rightly administered, and (they sometimes added) church discipline exercised. . . .  Over time, these ‘marks’ narrowed the church’s definition of itself toward a ‘place where’ idea. . . .  This perception of the church gives little attention to the church as a communal entity or presence, and it stresses even less the community’s role as the bearer of missional responsibility throughout the world, both near and far away.”  — (Huntsburger in  Missional Church 1998: 79).

Is he making too much of the subtle change in emphasis?


Just read this on a blog about caring for pastor’s wives. The entry has some very helpful advice on how churches can care for their pastor’s wives better. However it did strike me again that although great advice is given, once more the fundamental structures on mordern western ministry are not being questioned.

There is also the reality that the pastor and his family works, lives, breathes, relates, ministers, etc. in the church. There is no ‘escape’- and this is fraught with pressure, fear, and unrealistic expectations.”

Surely there is something wrong, not just with how the congregation are treating the pastor’s family, but with the very structures themselves when thoughts of ‘escape’ from our church families even enter our minds. Read the rest of this entry »

A thought struck me yesterday as I was reading something about Ephesians… O’Brien argues that Ekklesia in Ephesians is primarily about the heavenly gathering. So when Paul says in 3:10 that the church displays the wisdom of God, he is talking about the heavenly church. This seems to be to say it is not about the earthly church. It is quite striking that O’Brien finds it very hard then to say anything concrete about the earthly church.

But then I got to thinking… So what? Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other followers