A couple years ago, I share the following characteristics of gospel communities. Living on mission is not a maverick endeavor. It happens in the context of community, but not just any community, a gospel community. Here are 11 marks I have discovered to be distinctives of healthy gospel communities.

  1. Believers practice confession instead of trying to make an impression.
  2. People are defined by a lifestyle of repenting rather than pretending.
  3. You embrace truth at all costs, not agreeing for each others approval.
  4. Light exposes & wounds and love covers & heals – both/and not either/or.
  5. People are happy to be holy not content to be comfortable.
  6. You own your mess because of His mercy instead of hiding them because of your shame.
  7. Functional saviors & heart idolatry are lovingly confronted & challenged by Christ’s reign & rule.
  8. Unbelieving sinners & believing sinners together look away from themselves & look to Jesus.
  9. The pleasure of God in Christ to save you liberates you to passionately serve others.
  10. Hospitality is given to those on the margins & those not like you are welcome in your world.
  11. Individual preferences take a back seat to community purposes of loving God and neighbor.