Products>Being Church: Reflections on How to Live as the People of God

Being Church: Reflections on How to Live as the People of God

, 2012
ISBN: 9781608998692


What modern church doesn’t call itself a “community”? Yet for how many is it real? How many churches form disciples intimately connected enough to call themselves Christ’s “body”? How many churches form disciples who know the relational arts that create a robust unity? How many form disciples practiced in the ways of sacrificial love?

Pastor John Alexander, a 30-year veteran of living in Christian communities, yearns for all the wonder and promise of the New Testament vision of church to come true. After struggling with Scripture in live-together church communities, he shares the scriptural practices and wisdom that make for an authentic, sustainable, and joyful life together. For any person or church wanting to move beyond the cliché of “community” to the radical vision of the New Testament, this book is an invaluable guide.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Examines the New Testament church and how it defined community
  • Discusses spiritual practices that strengthen communities
  • Shares the wisdom of 30 years experience
  • Understands Christianity as a counter-cultural movement


  • Part I: The Nature and Purpose of Churches (What’s the Problem Here?)
    • Growing into the Stature of Christ (Whatever Happened to the Kingdom of God?)
    • The Secret of the Christian Life (Whatever Happened to the Church?)
    • Something is Missing (How Did Churches Get Where They Are Today?)
  • Part II: Things that Make It Hard For Modern Christians to Do Church Well (Reflections on Getting Culturally Absorbed)
    • On Taking Attendance at Church (My Personal Relationship with Jesus)
    • Counterfeit Plans of Salvation (Personal Identity, Affinity Groups, and Nationalism)
    • Vocation (Why Your Job is Not Your Calling)
    • Ministry: Being the Church for the World (Ministry and Evangelism by Being United)
  • Part III: Reflections on Doing Church in America (Church Structures)
    • Form and Function (Different Tree, Same Monkeys)
    • Some Models for Doing Church (Smaller Groups)
    • Life Together (Religious Orders and Live-in Churches)
    • On Becoming an Apache (What it Means to Become the People of God)
  • Part IV: Foundational Christian Truths and Life Together (Theological Practicalities)
    • On Not Devouring One Another (The Love of God and the Cost of Discipleship)
    • Death to Ego (Servanthood)
  • Part V: Love and Reconciliation (Reclaiming Church, Revisioning Church)
    • The Mark of the Church (Love and Unity)
    • Straight Talk (Love and Unity Again)
    • Rebellion, Submission, and Cooperation (Love and Unity Yet Again)
    • Leadership (Final Thoughts on Love and Unity)
    • Sabbath (the Sovereignty of God)

Praise for the Print Edition

John Alexander has been one of the unsung heroes in the modern Christian world. His understanding of Christianity as a counter-cultural movement is profound, and he has been able to communicate it with effectiveness in his writings. Everything he has written has been marked by fresh insights into what it means to be a Christian in a society in which cultural Christianity has become the norm.

—Tony Campolo, emeritus professor of sociology, Eastern University

Superb. Disturbing. Challenging. Radical because it is biblical. Being Church is an extremely well-written, theologically profound but easily understood presentation of a hugely important truth: almost everything depends on recovering the revolutionary reality of genuine Christian community. A must-read.

Ronald J. Sider, distinguished professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy, Palmer Theological Seminary

Being Church is a comprehensive and winsome invitation to embrace a more radical and holistic vision for the church. It is also a testament to the remarkable story of Church of the Sojourners. John’s voice has the weight of wisdom that comes only from deep reflection and hard-earned experience—it is a voice that we should pay attention to.

—Mark Scandrette, founding director, ReIMAGINE

It took a 60-year journey before John Alexander could write this book. Eventually he learned that trying harder and doing more is not the way God changes us. Nor is it the good news of the gospel for the world. This book shares the alternative: the culture of grace. It was worth the wait.

—Chris Rice, founding codirector, Center for Reconciliation, Duke Divinity School

Product Details

About John F. Alexander

John F. Alexander has been a teacher of philosophy and a columnist for The Other Side magazine. He is the author of Your Money or Your Life.