What is a “Community Church?”
A “community church” is a church that grows out of the life of the community. It is neither planted nor transplanted from the outside. It grows out of the hopes and needs and aspirations of the people of the community. It is a native product of the life of the community.
The community church serves all the community, and claims the whole of the community as its parish. It is in fellowship with all other Christian churches, and welcomes all who love the Lord Jesus Christ to its fellowship and membership, regardless of sect or denomination. It invites to the Lord’s Table all who humbly come and are in love and charity with their neighbors and desire to lead a new life following the commandments of God, regardless of other affiliations.
The community church never seeks to live to itself. It recognizes that it is part of the “holy catholic (universal) church”, the whole body of Christ as the ancient creeds suggest. It yearns for the unity of Christendom, and labors tirelessly for that end. It practices ecumenicity in worship, believing that Christians may and ought to worship and serve the Lord together despite differences of theological opinion and Biblical interpretation. It expresses ecumenicity in mission, choosing cooperation over competition and focusing on human need over institutional gain.
What makes a true community church is the spirit which infuses its life and work – a spirit defined in I Corinthians 13.
In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. Richard Baxter – Christian reformer and peacemaker.