One of the posts that has attracted the most comments on Love Each Stone was a guest post, entitled The City Church, by Paul Grabill. There are many misconceptions about the City Church, including the idea that it eliminates the need for individual congregations, and denominations. Grabill, who blogs at Beside the Point, is pastor of the State College Assembly of God in State College, Pennsylvania. As such, he obviously believes in the value of the local congregation, as well as in denominational cooperation.
Christian Unity: Local Movements & Congregational Implications is a paper Grabill wrote fleshing out the concept of the City Church, and proposing some practical steps for putting it into practice. As a conservative Baptist, I, evidently, have a few doctrinal differences with Grabill. Frankly, there are a few things he says in this article that make me a bit nervous, especially when he uses terms like ecumenism and liberalism, and talks about building bridges to Catholics.
Don’t worry. I’m not on the verge of selling out on such matters as the inerrancy of Scripture, justification by grace through faith alone, or believers baptism. It’s just that, in addition to these, I also have a conviction that we, as Southern Baptists, are not doing all we could and should to work towards the unity of Christ’s Body for which he prayed in John 17. And it doesn’t necessarily mean compromising our convictions on other key doctrines.
In the interest of seeking to be as obedient as we can to Christ’s commands, and making "every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3), I urge you to carefully read what Grabill has to say, and prayerfully consider whether it is line with what Christ would want of us as his children.
Another article along the same lines I highly recommend is Shopping for the Right Church, by Nathan Pitchford. It is well worth the read. Please take the time to read the whole thing and take to heart what it says as well.
For some more practical examples where some interesting progress is being made along these lines, see also:
The Katy Church
Why a "City Church?"
Church Planting Manifesto