The Church on Mission

A Biblical Vision for Transformation among All People

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2. Transformational Communities

Study Guide

Scripture reading: Ephesians 2:19–22

After reading this chapter, consider the following:

  • What new insights did you gain?
  • Were there points with which you especially agreed or disagreed?
  • What issues were raised that you would like to explore further or clarify?

The church is described as a new-creation community because it is a community of people who have become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3–5; Titus 3:5), by the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16; 1 Pet. 1:23). Thus evangelism is foundational to the very existence and ongoing life of a church (pp. 22–25).

  • How central is evangelism to the life and ministry of your church?
  • In what ways is your church actively involved in evangelism?
  • What are some new, creative ways in which your church might engage the community evangelistically?

The church represents a new spiritual temple of God (pp. 27–31).

  • Describe the relationship of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to the church as expressed in Ephesians 2:19–22. How does this enrich your understanding of the church?
  • How does (or should) your church manifest God’s presence in congregational life?
  • How might your church manifest God’s presence in your neighborhood?

The church has been described as a kingdom community: a sign, an instrument, and a foretaste of the kingdom of God (pp. 31–33).

  • If the kingdom of God is not a physical place as much as it is the sphere of God’s rule as King, what does it mean for the church to be an instrument of the kingdom?
  • Give an example of how the life of your church might be a foretaste of God’s kingdom.

Consider where you’ve come so far as a result of this study:

  • How has your understanding of the church been enriched?
  • What difference might that make in your relationship to the church?