Life in Community Review

Book Review: 

Community is a concept was hugely believed in and lived by in the early church. So much so, that it has survived through hundreds of years and is still written about to this day. I realize there is no shortage of writers that are writing on community or hospitality.
And therefore I find myself interested in reading this book to see what does Dustin Willis have to say on the topic that hasn't already been said or how does he present the material in a fresh way.

So after reading this book, which is split into three sections: forming community, the values for living in community, and next steps for a strong community. What I have found is that I do have a great appreciation for Dustin's message on returning to the idea of community as close to what it looked like in the Early Church as possible. I love the idea of holding each other accountable, of showing our true selves (the one our family sees), of forgiveness, and having real relationships. I think I expected more on the topic of hospitality. This book has exactly one chapter on hospitality, which is (in my opinion) a huge part of community, of being able to invite people into your life and to do life together.

I also appreciate the discussion questions at the end of each chapter as it encourages the reader to really engage with the book and self reflect on how we are apart of or encourage community around us. I personally noticed that I do not quite engage in the community around me like I want. And it gave me a nugget to chew on to engage in community and develop deeper relationships with those around me. My favorite quote from the book is "This was mot a Sunday activity that took place for an hour and ended with a prayer and a song. Community is more than a Sunday." I also enjoy the analogy of the after-church potluck meal to the need for everyone to bring their gifts to the body of Christ in community. No one is quite trying to make the same dish, just like each of our gifts our not quite the same or even used exactly the same. And we have to appreciate that both on an individual personal level and on a corporate level.

A great feature found in this book is the small group leader's guide. I really appreciate this because all too often, great books will have the study guide in a completely separate book that you have to buy and this one bundles it together for an easy way to do a book study and everyone is able to follow along.

All in all, I think this book is a solid read. It's great for those looking for the reasons why we should develop community and the values to base community on. It is also great for the book guide in the back, which breaks the book down into 6 weeks of reading that everyone in your newfound community can do together so everyone has the same understanding and appreciation for the community you are building.

{As always I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.}