Read The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive by Mark Dever Jamie Dunlop Online


What does a community that testifies to God's power look like?God's people are called to a togetherness and commitment that transcends all natural boundaries--whether ethnic, generational, or economic. But such a community can be enjoyed only when it relies on the power of God in the gospel.In The Compelling Community, pastors Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop cast a captivatingWhat does a community that testifies to God's power look like?God's people are called to a togetherness and commitment that transcends all natural boundaries--whether ethnic, generational, or economic. But such a community can be enjoyed only when it relies on the power of God in the gospel.In The Compelling Community, pastors Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop cast a captivating vision for authentic fellowship in the local church that goes beyond small groups. Full of biblical principles and practical advice, this book will help pastors lead their congregations toward the kind of community that glorifies God, edifies his people, and attracts the lost....

Title : The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive
Author :
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ISBN : 9781433543548
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive Reviews

  • Drew Miller
    2018-11-30 01:59

    While geared towards pastors and elders, I found this book helpful for guiding me in how to pray for church leaders. It was also helpful in showing the responsibilities of church leaders to the congregation and the congregation to the leaders.

  • Bob
    2018-12-10 05:48

    An excellent description & practical discussion of how the Church of Christ should function. Not by imitating today’s cooperate structures but functioning as the warm, caring, living organism known as the Body of Christ.

  • Todd Miles
    2018-11-30 05:50

    An excellent Gospel-centered philosophy of ministry. I recommend this to all pastors.

  • Pete Williamson
    2018-12-11 03:06

    The first part of the book started a little slow for me - if you're familiar with 9Marks, this will be mostly review - but the practical part of the book (the last 60% or so) is gold.

  • Greg Williams
    2018-12-08 07:10

    In "The Compelling Community", the author makes the case that the local church is meant to be a supernatural community that shows off the power of God by both its unity and its diversity. It is written primarily for church leaders and offers strategies for fostering and protecting community in your church. As such, it takes church membership seriously and sets a high bar for church members. He goes further and suggests that the mark of a true Christian is commitment to a local church as a spiritual provider (as opposed to being a spiritual consumer). He writes: "All Christians are to be meaningfully and self-consciously committed to a particular body of believers, acting as providers rather than consumers. And this behavior doesn't exist to indicate that they are mature Christians, but that they are Christians."This is a well-written and thought-provoking book. As a leader in a small church, I found that many of his strategies and suggestions were geared towards larger churches. They were still helpful in sparking thoughts on how to apply this to my church family but you shouldn't approach this book as a formula for creating community in your church. The author also seemed to put a lot of emphasis on the need for good preaching as a prerequisite for Christian community. While good Biblical preaching is important, I don't think that it is absolutely essential for community. The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of creating supernatural community even in the absence of strong preaching.If you are a church leader or pastor, I highly recommend this book.

  • Jeff Short
    2018-12-04 04:46

    This book is an excellent blend of biblical teaching and practical experience. The main thrust of this book has to do with the kind of unity a church ought to have. Churches can be like social clubs where the unity is built around similarities, whether demographic or special interests. Other churches have mere unity on a shared confession of faith, or distinctive doctrinal points. Both of those are common and both of those fall short of the mark of communal unity of the Lord's churches in Scripture.Dunlop uses the term "supernatural community" to describe the kind of church community taught in the New Testament. I'm not thrilled with that term, but the way he uses is right on. He also goes not to explain why there is no program to implement to have that kind of community. Pastors and church members will be benefited by reading, thinking, and praying through this book. The unity of the church membership should be working out in visible ways in terms of evangelism, discipleship, and even discipline.

  • Todd Bryant
    2018-11-30 04:10

    Another book by 9Marks that every church leader should read. Sometimes we are so caught up in the theology of the local church that we forget the practical purpose of the local church. The church is a community which displays the Gospel to the surrounding area. We are either doing this well or we are not. We are either doing this Biblically or we are not. Jamie Dunlop (the actual author) and Mark Dever have really put together some challenging ideas - from diversity to the ordinances to discipline to church planting. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  • Talon
    2018-12-05 22:55

    I loved this book. Mark Dever has written in this book a lot of practical advice on how to center your church on reaching the community with the Gospel. How to get past a church built around small groups in specific walks of life and building a community that is comprised of all generations.

  • Jónatas Lopes
    2018-11-15 01:45

    Livro muito bom sobre o poder do Evangelho que, quando é pregado, cria uma Igreja sobrenatural.

  • Sam Knecht
    2018-11-15 22:52


  • John Hsieh
    2018-11-11 00:46

    It is hip, cool, popular for a church to be multiethnic nowadays, but why? Are there any biblical basis for that? What does it mean for my local church? If you are thinking about these questions, go ahead and read this book, it's good.

  • Zach Barnhart
    2018-12-01 02:58

    I have yet to read a book put out by the 9Marks initiative that I didn’t like. I’m so thankful for Mark Dever and the other wise and helpful pastors he’s gotten on board to help us learn about building healthy churches. They have been essential resources for pastors and church leaders, and The Compelling Community continues down that path. When I chose to review this book, I was reading mostly because a part of my role in serving at the church plant I’m working with is evaluating what we are doing to build community in our church, not only as a church family but as a church that seeks lost people. Needless to say, a book with such a title was…compelling! Jamie Dunlop, basically piggy-backing off of Dever’s ecclesiology, does a great job teaching us the depth and breadth of what “Biblical community” really is.There are some major bullet points I took away from this book. I think it’d be helpful to provide an aerial view into the book through some of these main headings:Gospel-Revealing Community Is Not A Quick Fix.Our tendency in reading church leadership books is that we use them to be instant catalysts in our church bodies, and, in turn, expect to see results immediately. But what Dunlop labors to show us is that building Biblical community in and out of the Church is not going to happen overnight, nor will it likely happen within a few months. It’s a slow-moving process, but years down the road it’s so rewarding. Are we committed enough to building community to the point where we’ll work hard for results we may never see in the Church? This really convicted me personally. Instead of being a “gospel-plus” community where we focus on marketing instead of relationships, the “gospel-revealing” community does not meet our immediate needs, and that’s okay.Are Our Relationships Formed By The Gospel, Or By Affinity?One of Dunlop’s biggest ideas is that we should have relationships that are only possible by the unifying and mysterious power of the gospel. What we find in evangelicalism today are “black churches,” “blue-collar white-family churches,” “cowboy churches,” “contemporary churches,” and so forth. Our church bodies are becoming based on likeness, not the transformative power of the gospel. Even in churches without a niche market, we see these affinity-based relationships taking over our small groups and segmentation of church services. Dunlop is clear — what should make the Church so unique is that it brings together a whole melting pot full of different races, classes, ages, and styles and becomes the foundation for our unified worship of God.People are Eternal; Therefore, Relationships Are Essential.One of my favorite chapters from the book is Chapter 7: “Build a Culture of Spiritually Intentional Relationships.” In this chapter Dunlop outlines practical and insightful reasons for being humble, hospitable servants in relationship with others. Here he expands our view of Biblical hospitality, church membership, and the necessities of personal example, preaching, prayer, and patience in building these relationships. At the core of this chapter, Dunlop makes a simple observation: people are eternal. This fact alone should drive us to pursue eternal people with eternal perspective and eternal patience!This book is really helpful for those looking for the practicality of building community, but also helps us pump the brakes a little and realize this isn’t a one-week process. The Compelling Community gets our engine started for running this important race, but helps us remember, only the gospel can transform in such mighty ways, and we’d do good to let Christ steer. Thanks again to the 9Marks team, Jamie Dunlop, and Mark Dever for a helpful resource.Stars: 4.0/5.0I was provided this book via Crossway in exchange for my review.

  • Jude St. John
    2018-11-23 03:13

    Some of the most edifying books I have read in the past decade have come with a 9Marks logo located somewhere on the cover. The Compelling Community, by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, is another excellent 9Marks book that I found very helpful. This book, primarily written by Dunlop, focuses on lessons learned and principles derived from Pastor Mark Dever and the church the two authors lead and attend.Dunlop writes, “I want to raise the bar of what you envision church community to be,” and at the same time he claims, “I want to lower your ambition for what you can do to create community…Scripture teaches that the community that matters is community built by God.” In Dunlop estimation, this book is “an exploration of What God’s Word says about community¬¬–paired with practical advice for how you might work out these principles in your own church.”Chapter one argues that gospel-plus community–derived from natural means–may “work” to create community, but churches aspire to gospel-revealing community–derived supernaturally¬–that displays the power of God.Chapter two considers the impact of naturally derived community: compromised evangelism and compromised discipleship.Chapter three contrasts community built on comfort versus community built on calling and the evident supernatural quality of the latter.Breadth of community, and the diversity inherent in it, is considered in chapter four along with the difference between this and similarity based community.Chapter five looks at the interplay between the right preaching of God’s word and how it works itself out in God’s community.The focus of chapter six is prayer and chapter seven’s is on discipleship.The eighth chapter assesses impediments to community which may include staff positions, events, music, and ministries.Chapter 9 deals with the inevitable discontent and disunity that come with community with a focus on how the apostles wrestled with these issues.Chapter 10 examines Jesus’ teaching on sin in the church.Chapter 11 deals with the witness of the church community and evaluates how we can best expose the world to it.Church planting and church revitalization are deliberated in the twelfth chapter.My experience with 9Marks books and their teaching on the church has almost been entirely positive. Their books, and the ideas contained in them, are informative and inspiring. I find myself challenged, and motivated to rise to the challenge. This book, The Compelling Community, is no different in these regards. As a church leader, and one who desires to see the church be what the Bible calls her to, I recommend this book.A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of review.

  • Steve Johnson
    2018-11-18 00:50

    Received this book at the Church Revitalization Conference at the host church of the co-authors, and see myself coming back to this book in the next church I serve as a full-time pastor. This book would be a great book for a pastoral staff or a group of elders to read for the purpose of application to a local congregation. Yet I can also see it being quite helpful for a Wednesday night or Sunday morning study with a broader "by-in" from the congregation at large. This book is about creating a culture of community, not through a programmatic approach, but by becoming what Jesus intended us as His body to become. When it comes to community, we have accepted too little for too long. Dever and Dunlop have pointed the way through a mixture of solid Biblical application and practical, time-tested advice (a hallmark of most 9Marks books). Community is achieved where: there is a culture of evangelism and discipleship; expository preaching is welcomed by expositional listeners; Kingdom prayer is prioritized in the life of the congregation (corporately) and its members (personally); relationships focused on one to one Bible reading are encouraged; and unity is treasured.

  • Matt Tyler
    2018-11-21 05:01

    This is a helpful (small) book that addresses fostering and protecting community in the local church. Specifically, Dunlop and Dever cast a vision for supernatural community in the church that thrives because of the gospel. The authors are concerned that despite good intentions, many churches build communities that can thrive regardless of the gospel.This isn't a "how to" book in the traditional sense, but it certainly has many practical tips for fostering and protecting community within churches. However, what's striking is how simple these tips are. Instead of starting programs in the church that offer ways of "signing up for" discipleship and community, they challenge pastors to give relevant applications in their preaching, model through example, pray, and patiently way. In this sense, the book is very encouraging and rather freeing. Many of their suggestions beyond that are small tips that will build a culture of community over time, which will foster long-term change in the church.I highly recommend this book. It is encouraging, useful, and easy to read!

  • Jordan Constantine
    2018-11-20 22:56

    The vision Dunlop puts forward through "The Compelling Community" has this rarity, in that, it's enormous and daunting as it should. The local church finds no easy road to community. Yet this enormous vision is also simple. Dunlop has no radical programs for leaders to institute that guarantee community, like the promises of a late-night infomercial to replace all your kitchen appliances. Yet, a few times while reading, I indeed was compelled to put this book down and simply try something, to join my church in this or that. It's the rare kind of burden that is a delight to bear. I commend Dunlop's emboldening text to all who love their local church, or want to love her better.

  • Ryan Tankersley
    2018-12-05 01:15

    This book is excellent. I highly recommend it to any follower of Christ no matter where they are in church.The author's foundational point is that our churches should not be built on anything through which the world can create a community. Instead, it should be founded entirely on the gospel. When the world looks at our churches, they shouldn't think, "Oh, that makes sense." They should think, "Wow! How are these people together? And why do they love so much?"From that foundation, the author provides excellent practical advice and examples to help us get out of God's way and let the power of the gospel do its work.

  • Jordan
    2018-12-03 01:04

    What if the common approach to building a church community is all wrong? That's sort of the premise of this book. The goal is to examine how Scripture paints church community building, then give plenty of practical ideas for making it happen in your church. I'm not really the book's target audience—it's aimed at pastors/elders—but I did get a lot out of it. There are places where more clarity would have been welcome in the implementation of some of the ideas, but otherwise this one is a solid book that really needs to be picked up by every church leader.

  • Allen Tsai
    2018-11-27 05:09

    This book requires us to take a closer look behind why churches exist and, specifically, what distinguishes Christian community from all others. The first part of the book was helpful in reexamining foundational principles and chapter 8 was beneficial in scrutinizing the motivation behind different elements of a church service. Overall, a book that encourages much evaluation and discussion on church polity and life.

  • Justin
    2018-11-28 22:48

    This should be required reading for church leaders. Excellent material for new pastors, church planters, and even leaders in established churches - everyone will learn something from this book even if you don't agree with everything. This book is so practical and so rich. It isn't a 10 step program to create community in your church but instead gives real examples and bible teaching on why community is important and how to strive for and protect it. Cannot recommend this book enough.

  • James Hansee
    2018-11-16 03:02

    I received this book free at a conference. It has some good nuggets to consider, but nothing new for church leaders who are widely read in this area. The book is coming from a Baptist perspective, which does not cover all those who would go by the moniker "evangelical." I took a couple of ideas from the book to incorporate into our ministry.

  • Jacob Hickson
    2018-11-22 02:06

    I've had the pleasure of meeting Jamie who shared this book with me as I begin my time in college ministry in DC. A convicting (for me, at least) look at the kind of communities our churches should be. The book is directed at church leaders, so for me was mostly thought provoking and made me want to know more about my role as a member.

  • Eric Pruitt
    2018-11-24 23:57

    This is helpful for those who want biblical understanding of church membership, fellowship, discipline, and more. It covers the biblical basics for the church community living life together. If you are seeking to gain a clearer understanding of community and even helping to change the culture in your church, I would suggest this book.

  • Michael
    2018-11-21 07:02

    I'm not sure what I am/was looking for, but maybe that was the problem: I was looking for something versus recognizing that the process to becoming a compelling community is based not on a formula but on right understanding of the church, proper preaching, prayer, and an understanding of the purpose of the local church.

  • Kyle
    2018-11-12 04:48

    Reading this book is like having a conversation about the health of your church's community and evangelism with a wise, experienced elder. You won't always agree with his point of view or take every suggestion, but you'll be spurred to think carefully and wisely about your own situation. The final chapters on addressing conflict, sin, evangelism and church planting were especially good.

  • Robin Koshy
    2018-11-29 07:00

    Solid, practical and biblical book on how to build community in your church that is less programmatic and more relational, which tends to be one of my soapboxes :). The book is aimed at pastors/elders primarily and gave me lots to think about for my own flock. I can see myself returning to it in the future as a great reference.

  • Daniel
    2018-11-13 06:06

    I would boil it down to, cultivating supernatural relationships with depth and breath that make world take notice... This book just out in 2015, what an excellent read! 5star. Where God's power makes the church attractive. recommend for all pastors, leaders, church members.... Covers fostering community to church discipline, church planting and revitalization. dt

  • Sophia Lee
    2018-11-24 05:46

    Great resource for not just pastors or church leaders, but any Christian who loves the church and want to love it in a way that is primarily Christ-glorifying, not church program/ministry/missions-glorifying.

  • Allen
    2018-12-01 07:04

    This is one of the best books I've read on community. It is filled with takeaways and practical application. I will return to it often.

  • Dave Westerveld
    2018-12-04 02:15

    Excellent. I really enjoyed the chapters on Preaching, Prayer and evangelism, but the whole book was very helpful in thinking about what it means to have community in our churches