The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive

By Mark Dever, Jamie Dunlop

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What does a community that testifies to God's power look like?

God’s people are called to a togetherness and commitment that transcends all natural boundaries—whether ethnic, generational, or economic. But such a community can be enjoyed only when it relies on the power of God in the gospel.

In The Compelling Community, pastors Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop cast a captivating vision for authentic fellowship in the local church that goes beyond small groups. Full of biblical principles and practical advice, this book will help pastors lead their congregations toward the kind of community that glorifies God, edifies his people, and attracts the lost.

Part of the 9Marks series.

Read Chapter 1


Mark Dever

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Connie, and they have two adult children.

Jamie Dunlop

Jamie Dunlop serves as an associate pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. He is the coauthor (with Mark Dever) of The Compelling Community and author of Budgeting for a Healthy Church. Jamie and his wife Joan have three school-aged children and live on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Product Details

Category: Church Ministry
Christian Living
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 224
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 11.1 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4354-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4354-8
ISBN-UPC: 9781433543548
Case Quantity: 52
Published: April 30, 2015

Table of Contents

Part 1: A Vision for Community

  1. Two Visions of Community
  2. A Community Given by God
  3. Community Runs Deep
  4. Community Goes Broad

Part 2: Fostering Community

  1. Preach to Equip Your Community
  2. Pray Together as a Community
  3. Build a Culture of Spiritually Intentional Relationships
  4. Structural Obstacles to Biblical Community

Part 3: Protecting Community

  1. Addressing Discontentment in the Church
  2. Addressing Sin in the Church

Part 4: Community at Work

  1. Evangelize as a Community
  2. Fracture Your Community (for the Community of Heaven)


“If you are ready to be refreshed as well as challenged, read this book. It is biblical and practical. Its clarity is powerful and very compelling. Thank you, Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, for loving the church of Jesus Christ!”
Ronnie Floyd, Former President, The Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Pastor, Cross Church, Springdale, Arkansas

The Compelling Community cannot have come at a better time. Its arguments are compelling. What we need today are not new methods for church growth, but a fresh yielding to the Holy Spirit so that he can take us back to the gospel-centered principles we see in the New Testament that catapulted the early church into the center stage of human history. Thank you, Mark and Jamie, for refreshing our spirits with these timeless truths.”
Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia; Founding Chancellor, African Christian University

The Compelling Community provides an alternative to running your church on the building blocks of specialization and segmentation. The book is well-timed. After all, many of us long to see the gospel build community along the lines of generalization and integration instead. Great stuff from two men who have given their lives to the welfare of the local church.”
David R. Helm, Senior Pastor, Christ Church Chicago; Chairman, The Charles Simeon Trust

“Many of us live in neighborhoods with an abundance of church congregations, yet those neighborhoods are flooded with crime, racism, lostness, and very few changed lives. Have you ever wondered why churches are not having more of an impact? This powerful and convicting book should challenge every church to do a self-examination to determine if their weekly gatherings are making an impact in their community through the power of the gospel!”
Fred Luter Jr., Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana

“Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop remind us that the faithful local church is ever seeking to make a compelling case for Christ in community.”
Tony Carter, Pastor, East Point Church, East Point, Georgia