Of first importance: this is NOT a book review. If you want to read one of those, go read this one by Trevin Wax. It is very insightful and points out some of the flaws of the book along with the many strengths. This post is simply to plug the book and encourage you to read it.
Total Church, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, has been used, by God, to shape the way we do our Gospel Communities at Redemption Church and even the fact that we call them Gospel Communities. Or more precisely, the biblically based insights of this book have played an important role in shaping how we “do church” at Redemption. It will explode your “american dream” church model. It is a fantastic read and a much needed call for the church.
The following quote, from Total Church, will give you a flavor for the book:
The church, then, is not something additional or optional. It is at the very heart of God’s purposes. Jesus came to create a people who would model what it means to live under His rule. It would be a glorious outpost of the kingdom of God, an embassy of heaven. This is where the world can see what it means to be truly human.Our identity as human beings is found in community. Our identity as Christians is found in Christ’s new community. And our mission takes place through communities of light. Christianity is “total church.”
“People need to encounter the church as a network of relationships rather than a meeting you attend or a place you enter. Mission must involve not only contact between unbelievers and individual Christians, but between unbelievers and the Christian community.”
This book is available, at cost, from our bookstore in the lobby of Redemption.
SPECIAL NOTE: This coming Sunday morning (April 28th), we will be giving away a copy of this book at Redemption. Log-in or sign-up for The City and take part in the book giveaway thread to have a chance at a free copy of Total Church.