The Gospel-Centered Community: Study Guide with Leader's Notes
by Robert H. Thune and Will Walker
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In this nine-lesson small group study with leader’s notes, participants will learn how the Spirit shapes diverse people into a Christ-centered community that reflects Jesus. Gospel-Centered Community is a wise, biblically solid guide inviting readers to take the plunge toward deeper, richer relationships—centered on Christ.
In today’s culture, the word “community” has almost lost its meaning. It’s used so often, but what does it really look like to share our lives in the church through the gospel? Will Walker and Robert Thune offer thought-provoking questions to confront your small group head-on with the transforming power of the gospel.
Any small group looking for real, lasting change to take root will find this practical, gospel-saturated study to be immensely helpful. Each lesson is self-contained, featuring clear teaching from Scripture, and requires no extra work outside the group setting. The leader notes contain discussion questions and background material that clearly explain and apply the gospel truths from each lesson.
Real community is hard to come by. Gospel-Centered Community serves as an easy-to-follow road map for applying the gospel to relationships at church and in the community. Learn how Christ changes us and calls us to be a light to our communities.
Bob Thune, MA (Reformed Theological Seminary), is the lead pastor of Coram Deo, a gospel-centered church he planted in 2005 in Omaha, Nebraska, after serving as a megachurch college pastor and a Campus Crusade staff member. He is the coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Life, The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens, and The Gospel-Centered Community, and he is the author of Gospel Eldership. Bob and his wife Leigh have four children.
Will Walker, M.A. (Covenant Seminary), is the lead pastor and church planter of Providence Church in Austin, Texas, a gospel-centered church plant sent out from Coram Deo, where Will was on staff. He is the coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Life, The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens, The Gospel-Centered Community, and Journey to the Cross: Devotions for Lent. Will and his wife Debbie have two children and are looking forward to planting more churches in Austin.
"This wise and biblically solid guide cuts beneath platitudes to address how the gospel seizes the heart and transforms our desire to do more than merely exist in community, and instead allows us to participate together in God's merciful kindness."
Dan B. Allender, PhD, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology; Author
"Using this resource is a no-brainer. It's a practical, biblical, gospel-saturated study that connects the dots between community and the rich Christian life, without losing anyone's attention! Pastors, your people will thank you for using this small group study—and you will thank God for the fruit!"
Dave Harvey, Pastor; Author of Am I Called? and ;When Sinners Say I Do
"The word 'community' has become such a buzzword in Christian circles that it has almost lost its meaning. Bob and Will bring us out of the land of the buzzword and into the biblical definition and application of what it means to share our lives in the church through the gospel. I highly recommend this book."
Darrin Patrick, DMin, founder of The Journey, St. Louis, MO; author of Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission
"Will Walker and Bob Thune offer probing questions to confront your small group head-on with the transforming power of the gospel as it works through a community. If you are looking for a resource that could bring real change to the small group environment of your church, this is it."
Matt Carter, Pastor of Preaching and Vision at the Austin Stone Community Church and coauthor of The Real Win: A Man's Quest for Authentic Success
"I'm a cynical old preacher who knows that real community in the church is hard to come by. But Thune and Walker's gift to us of this wonderful and practical small group resource gives this old preacher hope. It should be read and underlined by every leader in the church. Use this small group resource and then you, with me, will 'rise up and call them blessed.'"
Steve Brown, Key Life radio program Bible teacher; author of Three Free Sins
"Everyone longs for community. And pastors long to shepherd churches that are deeply, authentically communal. In The Gospel-Centered Community, Robert Thune and Will Walker provide church planters, pastors, small group leaders, and all Christians a clear, accessible tool for working through the messy challenges of living in community, and for growing together as the body of Christ."
Daniel Montgomery, Lead Pastor, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, KY
"This is an incredibly helpful resource for fostering gospel-centered community in your church. Whether you are planting a new church, or aiming to strengthen an existing community, you will find this resource profoundly valuable. The Christian life is not meant to be lived in isolation. This book will help you develop a healthy, biblical view of Christian community."
Ben Peays, Executive Director, The Gospel Coalition
"The Gospel-Centered Community is an incredible introduction and practical guide for helping us live out the radical implications of God's grace and love together. The gospel is personal, but it's definitely not private. Why do we need each other? How does grace reframe and refocus our relationships? What's the difference between an ingrown 'club-ish' church, and a community of believers who are learning to live and love missionally? That's what this little gem is all about!"
Scotty Smith, Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church; Teacher in Residence at West End Community Church; author of Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith
"Thune and Walker's first small group study, The Gospel-Centered Life, had a profound and life-changing impact on our church. Our small groups worked through the book, and everyone responded with great enthusiasm. With the publication of The Gospel-Centered Community, it appears they've done it again. I'm certain this short volume will take us even deeper into what it means to live in a community fashioned by the gospel of grace. Every church that longs to experience the development of healthy, Christ-centered and gospel-shaped community should avail themselves of this excellent resource."
Sam Storms, Lead Pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, OK
"Thune and Walker deftly diagnose our tendencies to hide and isolate, and then show how gospel practices enable us to live in rich, real community. Loneliness is lethal, and the faint hope we've harbored for more finds fulfillment in gospel-centered community."
Glenn Lucke, President, Docent Research Group; coauthor Common Grounds: Conversations about the Things That Matter Most
"We desperately need to apply the gospel to our life together so we can live out our calling to be 'the light of the world' and a 'city on the hill.' Thune and Walker give us an insightful, clear, easy-to-follow road map for applying the humility, kindness, and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to our relationships at church and in our community."
Angelo Juliani, Church planter, Bridge Community Church (PCA), Philadelphia, PA