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Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community

Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community by Ruth Haley Barton, ISBN: 9780830835867
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ISBN: 9780830835867
Publisher: IVP Books
Published: 1 December, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Language: English

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Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community

Odds are you've been disappointed by community at some point in your life. You've joined a church or small group with high hopes of experiencing real edification, friendship and belonging, only to be disappointed by the lack of true connection and growth. There is something terribly difficult about human beings trying to function together over the long haul. So how can we cultivate true Christian community—not simply for the sake of connection but also for the sake of mutual spiritual transformation? This kind of communal, spiritual experience isn't easy. No matter how cynical we have become, the promise that we sin-scarred humans can become like Christ is one of the great promises of the Gospel. We are meant for kingdom living here and now. And we cannot do it alone. Paul’s teachings on spiritual growth and transformation are always given in the context of community—the body of Christ with its many members, all using their gifts for mutual edification. It is clear that transformation and community are integrally related. Without spiritual transformation, communities will falter and disintegrate; without community, we will limit the work of transformation in our lives. If we can bring these two dynamics together in transforming community, that’s when a spontaneous combustion will begin to take place. In this kind of shared life, the value and the priority of spiritual transformation is taught, discussed, and lived out in large and small groups, in families and among friends, in formal Christian education settings and informal conversations. It becomes central to the life of the community, offering both structured opportunities for growth while allowing space for the spontaneous "bubbling up" of the Spirit’s work in people’s lives. In Life Together in Christ, veteran spiritual director Ruth Haley Barton gives us an interactive guide for smaller groupings of people who are ready to get personal and practical about experiencing transformation together. Designed to function on both individual and communal levels, groups will grow through and by study of the account of the disciples on the Emmaus Road found in Luke 24. Be ready to experience true, intentional, transforming community.

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