The church is by nature a missional community - a community that exists by, in, and for mission. But community is not merely utilitarian, a tool for mission. No, the mission itself leads to the creation of an authentic community (aka the kingdom of God), in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
"Mission through Community" and "Community through Mission"
from Lesslie Newbigin, The Household of God (1953):
“It is surely a fact of inexhaustible significance that what our Lord left behind Him was not a book, nor a creed, nor a system of thought, nor a rule of life, but a visible community. He committed the entire work of salvation to that community. It was not that a community gathered round an idea, so that the idea was primary and the community secondary. It was that a community called together by the deliberate choice of the Lord Himself, and re-created in Him, gradually sought - and is seeking - to make explicit who He is and what He has done. The actual community is primary; the understanding of what it is comes second.”
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