Protestant communities as mission communities
Community is an integrative motif and the central message of the Bible. The divine goal of history is God's establishment of community. The Triune God is the origin of community and community is the mode of existence of God. Christian community is derived from God's community. The church is a community restored by the Triune God, and so the essence of the church is Christian community. The Bible is the history of community involving the beginning of community, the destruction of community, the restoration of community, and the completion of community. Christian community is a channel of realization of the kingdom of God. As a restored community, the early church was a loving, sharing, praying, and witnessing community. The early church's common possession and sharing of materials in brotherly love had continuously been practiced throughout the churches as indicated in the books of Acts and the Epistles. The early church is a model of Christian community that believers must always strive for and constantly return to. It is possible to live the life of the early church community even now. This is proven by the history of the Protestant community and contemporary Protestant communities. Christian community is not just a conceptual, but also a practical community. Christian community can be practiced in various forms. Protestant community includes the four modes: intentional Christian community, monastic community, church community, and cell group community. These four modes have an equal value in a sense that they exert the communal spirit in diverse ways. These four modes of Protestant community have appeared throughout the history of Protestant community. Protestant communities influenced the renewal of the established church through their devoted community life of love. They have been the wellsprings of renewal in Protestantism. Protestant communities also become a place of reconciliation between divided Christians and denominations. The communities have a role as mediator of reconciliation among divided churches and denominations. Community movements have also acted as the main mission movement in the history of Protestant mission. The main missions such as the Anabaptists, Moravians, and modern mission societies all exerted a powerful mission in a communal basis. The contribution of the Moravian missionaries of the Herrnhut community, beginning half a century before William Carey, brought about a shift of emphasis in missionary awareness within Protestantism. The Herrnhut community included the centripetal mission and centrifugal mission by living an intentional community and sending Moravian missionaries. Mission should be exerted from a community dimension, not an individual level. The history of Protestant mission and contemporary Protestantism testifies that mission through community is the most effective and powerful method of mission. Up to now mission has usually been confined to centrifugal mission at an individual level, which emphasized preaching the gospel to foreign regions. It is a phenomenon of unbalanced mission. A balanced mission includes both centripetal and centrifugal mission. Mission is not only a matter of the scope of preaching the gospel to the ends of earth, but also a matter of content. The content of mission is a radical discipleship and whole gospel in all–inclusiveness, containing centripetal and centrifugal mission, Christian presence and Christian proclamation, and the New Commandment and the Great Commission. Community is an essence of church and an essence of mission.
- ETD@PUK 
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