Steve Timmis on the Church and Gospel-Centered Community Characteristics

What is the common perception of church and how should we look at church? (click the link to see the video)

  1. They think of a building.
  2. They think of a meeting.
  3. Church is dynamic, it’s the people of God, they’ve been called by the gospel to live under the reign of Christ in the power of the Spirit who love one another, serve one another, share their lives together, and do so openly before the world so that non-Christians might see, and be intrigued and enticed, by this gospel community living out this gospel word.

What Does Gospel-Centered Community Look Like? (click the link to see the video)

  1. They are aware of who they are.
  2. They live by their realization of their sin,  and their acceptance in Christ alone.
  3. They’re aware of the Spirit’s power and presence
  4. They encourage each other with the gospel.  They apply and hold each other accountable to the gospel.
  5. They live ordinary life with gospel intentionality and so they aren’t satisfied unless they are engaging non-Christians and introducing them to their community
  6. They’re believing the gospel day after day, repenting daily, and rejoicing daily because of the gospel.

You can read the whole article on Steve Timmis on the Nature of the Local Church.  In the article Timmis is quoted saying,

“What we want to do is equip the people not to be theologically smart so that they can pass exams, but people who are intentionally godly, who are radically godly in how they live their lives,” he said. “So, we have got to place as much emphasis upon Bible learning as we have upon Bible teaching. We have been satisfied with preaching a good sermon. We have told the Bible well and we go home and we have a sense of satisfaction, patting ourselves on the back and that is just very dangerous. We have got to find a way to take that word and massage it deep into people’s lives so it changes life.”


About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
This entry was posted in "Total Church" Model, church, church planting, church polity, church reform. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Steve Timmis on the Church and Gospel-Centered Community Characteristics

  1. Mark Myles says:

    Thanks PJ. I read this and watched these vids the other day & thought about posting them too. Excellent stuff. Have you read Total Church? What do you like/dislike about Timmis’ model?

  2. pjtibayan says:

    I have read Total Church and enjoy the book very much. It challenged me and set me off what I prepared to do as a church planter in a good way. I don’t know that I’ve found more confidence since then, but I appreciated their insights and practical wisdom.

    I like a lot about the model – the stress on praxis, fellowship, evangelism, life-on-life training, etc. This list can go on for paragraphs.

    What I disagree with regarding their model are: (1) their modified Presbyterian structure, (2) their practice of church discipline within that model, and (3) their loose and assumed yet unclear practice of church membership.

    I’m a congregationalist and believe the Bible teaches every congregation (read their term “gospel community” here) is responsible ultimately for its decisions under Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures. In their authority structure they have elders that have decisive responsibility over churches that are not ones they are particularly committed to. That’s one reason I’m not Presbyterian. It’s not just that I don’t think the Bible teaches an authoritative figure or team outside of the local church. Because I think the Bible doesn’t teach that, I think it’s wrong to bind a church’s conscience to the misinformed standard that it is required or even permissible.

    Their practice of church discipline and membership is something different than what I think is clear and edifying to the church (and I don’t think it’s just my context, though it’s possible I’m wrong). It’s late and I don’t have time to cite their views and my differences here. Maybe I’ll do a post on it in the future if time permits and if it seems wise or edifying to those who would read it. Feel free to push back here and we can continue to talk about it.

    • Mark Myles says:

      I have it on my shelf & plan on reading it as soon as I’m finished my Leader as King paper for ReTrain, but I’ve listened to Timmis talk a bit about their model of Total Church (like the 3 part series he did at Mars Hill).

      So for the Gospel Communities (congregations) you rather that there be a team of elders within each congregation leading them and each congregation to be locally autonomous with no authority connection beyond that. Is that correct?

      Personally, I think I like (probably smaller) Gospel Communities with one (maybe 2 elders & one or two in-process) all over the city that gather together throughout the week, live life together, apply the gospel to one another, do mission work in the city together, etc. Then on Sundays (perhaps 3 out of 4) gather all the Gospel Communities together (team of elders) for a time of celebration, communion, baptisms and preaching/training. It is a centralized authority, but one that is firmly rooted in the Gospel Communities, not detached at all.

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