I was at a church conference recently and had the privilege of hearing Mark Driscoll speak. His topic was one of particular interest to me as he connected the gospel with community, something that not only matters to me personally but is also at the heart of what we do at Church Community Builder. During his message, he said:
"The Gospel results in community, but the Gospel is not community."
I wrote the sentence down immediately because I needed to think about that. Mark's words are very intentional, so he rarely says anything that is not full of meaning. As the conference continued, I kept coming back to this statement again and again.
We spend a lot of time helping churches build community for the purpose of engaging people in discipleship and missions. It's tempting to get caught up in the idea that community is the goal. However, if we stopped at community, then we would leave a lot on the table. Jesus didn't tell us to go into the world and build communities of faith. Rather, he told us to go into the world and make disciples. Community is certainly part of the process of disciple-making, but it is not a substitute for making disciples.
Have you stopped at building community, or have you built the systems you need to leverage community for better disciple making?