Long time no blog... sorry about that...
I've been a little overwhelmed with all on my plate with this Church Plant... good stuff... just a LOT of stuff.
However, there is a small leadership team that has been doing a lot of work on River City and one of the resources we have been using is a book called "Total Church." We have found it to be most-helpful in helping us unpack the patterns in the New Testament of the advancement of the Church and how the basic principles can/should be applied today in a church-planting context.
So you can understand a little bit as to where my brain is... here is an excerpt:
"... two key principles should shape the way we "do church": gospel and community. Christians are called to a dual fidelity: fidelity to the core content of the gospel and fidelity to the primary context of a believing community. Whether we are thinking about evangelism, social involvement, pastoral care, apologetics, discipleship, or teaching, the content is consistently the Christian gospel, and the context is consistently the Christian community. What we do is always defined by the gospel, and the context is always our belonging in the church. Our identity as Christians is defined by the gospel and the community.
Being gospel-centered actually involves two things. First, it means being word-centered because the gospel is a word-the gospel is news, a message. Second, it means being mission-centered because the gospel is a word to be proclaimed-the gospel is good news, a missionary message.
So maybe we really have three principles. Christian practice must be (1) gospel-centered in the sense of being word-centered, (2) gospel-centered in the sense of being mission-centered, and (3) community-centered."
("Total Church" Chester & Timmis, pp. 15-16)
Soli Deo Gloria,