“The Good and Beautiful Community: Following the Spirit, Extending Grace, Demonstrating Love” by James Bryan Smith

Review by Keith Robinson, July 2020

The third and final book in the series is to me always the most challenging. Thinking about the relationship of who God is and who I am in Him is in some ways private – you can make as much of it or as little of it as you want. Exploring our life in Christ even with group accountability you can make as much or as little of it as you want. However, when you are thinking, exploring and praying about a good and beautiful community – a community of grace – it’s all a bit more public.

As with the first two books, James explores his topic in a careful and thoughtful way, each section concluding with a very relevant soul exercise. In this book he explores community that is peculiar, hopeful, serving, Christ-centred, re-connecting, encouraging, generous, worshipping. 

These eight concepts apply equally well to a church, a house group, a mission, a field entity or even a team. Whilst challenging, these eight concepts, if worked on, would revitalise the community, not for the sake of the community, but for the sake of the gospel and people seeing and experiencing God’s love, hope and worship when they don’t yet know Jesus.

There is a lot of conversation about healthy community, vital community, community of grace. If these eight concepts were committed to by a group of believers, and we all practiced the soul exercises, the places we live, work and worship would be transformed.

I think it time I re-read this book as I think about my role in the community  in the mission I serve in.

Buy it here at amazon