The Compelling Community (Paperback)Mark Dever & Jamie Dunlop
What does a community that testifies to God's power look like?
God’s people are called to a togetherness and commitment that transcends all natural boundaries—whether ethnic, generational, or economic. But such a community can be enjoyed only when it relies on the power of God in the gospel.
In The Compelling Community, pastors Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop cast a captivating vision for authentic fellowship in the local church that goes beyond small groups. Full of biblical principles and practical advice, this book will help pastors lead their congregations toward the kind of community that glorifies God, edifies his people, and attracts the lost.
Part of the 9Marks series.
About the Author
Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks (9Marks.org). Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.
Jamie Dunlop has served as an associate pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church since 2009. Prior to that, he managed a line of business for a large management consultancy. He is the coauthor (with Mark Dever) of The Compelling Community.
ByMark Dever & Jamie Dunlop
Size140 x 216 mm
Number of Pages192 pp
PublisherGood News Publishers / Crossway Books
Two Visions of
Two churches in my neighborhood offer a study in surprising simi-
One church is a theologically liberal congregation; the other is
the theologically conservative church where I pastor. Both started
meeting in 1867. Both grew considerably with the city of Washington,
DC, in the years surrounding the Second World War. Both struggled
as the surrounding blocks were decimated by a wave of race-charged
rioting. By the late twentieth century, both congregations had dwin-
dled in number and consisted largely of older commuters from the
suburbs. In response, both purged their roles to remove members
who no longer attended. The future of both was in question.
But then starting in the late 1990s, both began to grow. Both at-
tracted young people who were moving into the city, and both re-
grew roots into the neighborhood. For many years, the growth of
both churches was roughly the same: the membership of one never
strayed more than a hundred or so people from the other. Both con-
gregations care for the poor in the neighborhood. Both buzz with ac-
tivity on Sunday mornings and throughout the week. Both receive
attention in the secular press for their tight-knit community.
But despite a similar history, these two churches could not differ
more at their core. When I first moved to Washington in the 1990s,
the pastor of this other church didn’t call himself a Christian. He
didn’t believe in the atonement, didn’t believe in physical resurrec-
tion, and, as he explained to me one day, wasn’t even sure he believed
in God! Whereas our church logo cites Romans 10:17 (“Faith comes
from hearing”), theirs describes them as “the church of the open
communion.” Ours is a congregation centered on the historic Chris-
tian gospel. Theirs is a congregation, I would maintain, focused on an
entirely different gospel. And yet both appear to thrive.
My point? You don’t need God to “build community” in a church.