The church as a whole must be a witness for Jesus. Jesus by his death on the cross has restored the relationship between God and man. He also broke down the barrier that sin raises between men. This means that a group of believers living in peace and unity is a good testimony to what Jesus has done. Because of this, Jesus commanded that his disciples should love each other.

A church must be a group of believers who are bound together by love for each other. And this love must be worked out in their daily loves. Their commitment to each other must be expressed in practical ways. Their lifestyle should give visible evidence that they have been reconciled by Jesus.

The people of the world are entitled to look at a church to see if its members do love each other. If Christian love is being expressed in a visible way, then Jesus is exalted. And the love that unites the church will draw people to Jesus.

This is very important at the present time. Because modern society is dominated by institutions, it has become very impersonal. There is a high degree of social mobility, but this prevents stable relationships from developing. Even family life is breaking down. The result is that modern society is characterised by loneliness and personal insecurity. It has failed to fulfil the basic human need for deep and permanent relationships.

And the church is not meeting this need either. The life of the modern church consists of activities and projects carried out in church buildings. Personal needs are met by committees and specialised personnel, and not within the relationships of a community. In fact, very few relationships are formed as a result of commitment to a church. Friends may often meet at a church, but they usually became friends elsewhere.

The church has also become very impersonal. It has ceased to be a community, and has become an institution. Consequently, people are not attracted by the church. Their lives are already dominated by institutions, so they do not want to be part of another one. They do not want to be a cog in another machine. Instead, they want to be accepted as people, and develop meaningful relationships with others. They are looking for community, but they are not finding it in the church.

If the church is to be relevant in the modern world, it must get back to the New Testament model. It must become a community; a group of people who care for each other within strong and stable relationships. A church like this would be a powerful witness in the modern world. It would be really attractive to those who are crushed by the impersonality of modern society.

The best witness to the modern world is not an individual who can tell what Jesus has done for him. It is a group of believers who show by their love, that Jesus has made them one. They give visible proof of his reconciling power. In a world that is hungry for true love, they are a sign that Jesus really is the answer.

This need for community is greatest in the cities, as modern patterns of urbanisation have broken down traditional community relationships. The corner store, which was once a place where people met, has been replaced by the supermarket. While the supermarket is cheap and efficient, it is very impersonal. Children go off to large schools a long way from their homes, and only a few parents have much control over the way the school is run. The local policeman has been replaced by a roving patrol car, based at the central police station. Local landlords have been replaced by the faceless housing corporation.

Even the churches are moving out in a move to large efficient centralised churches. The result of all this is that city dwellers have very little contact with their neighbours. They have no sense of belonging to a community. Only the breweries have understood this replaced "booze barns" with Cafe Bars. The church is still building spiritual "booze barns" when the real need is for spiritual cafes.

The breakdown of community in the city has caused many social problems, giving the city a bad name. But this does not have to be the case. In Revelation 21 the expression, "city of God" is used for the perfect church. It is possible to have a holy city. Nearly half of the world's population is now living in cities. The population of the world's largest cities is growing very rapidly. In view of this, we need to make our cities into places that are good to live in. We urgently need the Holy City.

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