Downloaded True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia yesterday, the newest book from Jerry Bridges. If you know that name, it may be that you’ve got a 35 year old copy of The Pursuit of Holiness on your bookshelf too! Bridges is a longtime staff member of The Navigators and has written 10 books, speaks internationally, and serves with their collegiate ministry.
I bought the book because of my pursuit of a better grasp of community. True Community was written, in part, to answer the questions: “What is biblical community? And is there biblical basis for using the word community in our Christian context?”
At 176 pages, it’s a short read. I haven’t finished the book, but I definitely like where it’s going! Bridges notes in the opening pages that the first mention of koinonia (the Greek word from which we get fellowship) appears in Acts 2:42 and that fellowship is included along with teaching and prayer. He goes on to observe that it would seem strange to include fellowship “if it meant no more than Christian social activity.”
From the opening pages, True Community is presented in a way that is both easy to read and digest. In each of the first few chapters I found myself thinking that this is going to be something that will shape our ministry conversations in the coming days. We’re always looking for material that will equip our small group coaches and leaders. This book definitely will be one that ends up on our pathway for leadership development.
There is a lot to love about True Community. Deeply biblical, Bridges has skillfully referenced scriptures that enhance understanding and will help you see community in a new light. Packed with great quotes from other works on the topic, your copy will no doubt receive a thorough marking and highlighting. I found myself imagining the talks I’ll be developing in the coming year to help my team grasp this important concept.
In addition, a helpful set of discussion questions is included at the end of each chapter, making True Community an excellent resource for small group study. Whether it’s used by coaching huddles or individual groups looking for a topical study, the included questions go a long way toward making this an excellent choice.
If you’re on the hunt for a better understanding of community, I highly recommend True Community. I’m already challenged and strengthened in my pursuit, and I’m sure you will be too.