â€œWe take seriously the Gospel word â€” we are confessional evangelicals. We have a number of values and a statement of faith that reflects that,â€ said Timmis, who also serves as Western Europe Director for the Acts 29 church planting network. â€œWe believe the Gospel word is a word to be spoken: we try and argue that very clearly in church (life). So, you canâ€™t talk about living a life without speaking the Word. If you do, then whatever you are doing, you are not evangelizing; you are selling the Gospel short. So, the Gospel word is very important to us and it is a word that focuses upon what God has done in Christ in redeeming a people for Himself who will enjoy Him for eternity.
â€œWe also take seriously Gospel community in a way that, traditionally, confessional evangelicals havenâ€™t. Gospel community is a group of people who are being rescued by King Jesus and who live as His subjects together to demonstrate to the world what a great King He is. So, Gospel community is a demonstrating community: it demonstrates the nature of the Kingdom of God, the nature of Jesusâ€™s rule.â€
This parallel emphasis on the gospel proclaimed and the gospel lived out in community is one of the reasons that I appreciated Total Church and that I recommend it often.
By the way, later in the interview Timmis discusses their use of the term “church,” which he defines as “gospel community.” They use the term “church” to describe both a larger gathering and smaller gatherings, which others would call “small groups” or “Bible studies” or “Sunday School classes” but not “church.”