Best Quotes from Life in Community by Dustin Willis

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I’ve recently finished reading Life in Community by Dustin Willis. It’s another book promoting the importance of community, especially in the church. David Platt spells out what the problem is with the first sentence of the forward, “Christ and His church are the only cure for the crisis of loneliness that characterizes our culture.” (pg. 11). Willis then spends the rest of the book breaking this problem down into 3 different sections: forming community (chapters 1-3), the values of community (chapters 4-11), and next steps for strong community (chapter 12). Here are some of the best quotes that I came across:

Introduction

“As we grow in love for one another, the world will be drawn to saving faith.” (pg. 16)

Chapter 1

“We want community, yet we struggle with loneliness.” (pg. 21)

“As people live on mission with others they discover community. And as people in true community, they will seek mission.” (pg. 28)

Chapter 2

“You can’t have community without common ground, and through the gospel, we have the deepest commonality that exists, the blood of Christ that unites us as family.” (pg. 45)

Chapter 3

“To conform is to be shaped by external pressure, whereas transformation is a radical altering from the inside out.” (pg. 50)

“Transformation is not only from something but also to something. We move from sin to holiness.” (pg. 55)

Chapter 4

“... the church is not a club to pay dues; it’s a body to belong to.” (pg. 63)

“The reality, however, is that at some point we are all the weaker brother or sister. The church is God’s gift of grace to support us in those times of weakness” (pg. 64)

Chapter 5

“Why do we consistently choose hypocrisy over honesty? I think the answer is simple: fear.” (pg. 79)

“... honesty in community will often lead to a massive expenditure of time, energy, and effort” (pg. 83)

Chapter 6

“The less we care about hating sin, the less we experience authentic and world-changing community.” (pg. 92)

“The goal of humbly confronting sin in others is always restoration.” (pg. 98)

Chapter 7

“As God changes people, they flee sin and pursue holiness.” (pg. 106)

“Biblical encouragement uses your words to point out examples of God’s goodness in another person’s life.” (pg. 107)

Chapter 8

“We must build communities where we are willing to give up our preferences for someone else and do whatever it takes to ensure that they have what they need ... When we practice the idea that it’s not about what I can get but what I can give, we change people, both those who honor and those who are honored.” (pg. 124)

Chapter 9

“While God is good is truth we live out as a community, we also need to be aware of three other undeniable words: suffering is inescapable.” (pg. 128)

“It is the Christian community’s job to come along side those languishing under the weight of trouble and remind them of this glorious hope. When we suffer alone, we become nearsighted.” (pg. 131)

Chapter 10

“When strangers move from being friends to becoming family, our perspective and then our efforts to meet these [their] needs will radically change.” (pg. 142)

“... everything we create or earn is not just for us. We are deliberately to share our blessings.” (pg. 145)

Chapter 11

“Too often we view our homes as places of refuge rather than tools to advance the gospel.” (pg. 150)

“Your home can either feed seclusion or counteract it.” (pg. 151)

“Community and mission intersect perfectly in the value of hospitality.” (pg. 155)

Chapter 12

“One of our greatest plagues is apathy.” (pg. 165)

“God bids us to do everything we can as a community to see to it that as many people as possible have the opportunity to experience a place at His table.” (pg. 169)

(All quotes taken from Life in Community by Dustin Willis © 2015 and published by Moody Press)

It dawned on me about half way through the book (... I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer ...) that this book is a practical application of Romans 12. If you’re a pastor or leader looking to start or strengthen community this book would be helpful. If community at your church is running well it can be affirming and encouraging. Either way, I recommend it. You can get it here.

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