As soon as you can, get your hands on Seeking a Lasting City: The Church's Journey in the Story of God. ACU Bible profs Doug Foster, Randy Harris, and Mark Love have written this incredible book, which describes the church as "a story-formed, story-living people." My hope is that people would read it . . . and then suggest it as a study guide for Bible classes . . . and then decide to purchase a copy for every leader of their church. This is ecclesiology at its best--helping us to anchor our understanding of the church in the story of Christ. Here is a sample from one of my favorite chapters, "The Church Outside the Gates": "The church in a post-Christian, postmodern, postdenominational world is the exilic church, the missional church, the prophetic church, the marginalized church, the church of the cross that stands outside the city gates. They are all embedded in our story. While their specific confluence in our time and place may be unique, that's true of the church in every time and place. No church is exactly like any other. "This reflects the wisdom of God and the genius of the Gospel; its story is always the same story, its good news the same good news, its church the one and only church. Yet within this framework, God is constantly creating us anew for the sake of his kingdom work in the world. The church doesn't accommodate to the culture in order to grow. It grows because it follows Christ to the place of service and sacrifice outside the city gates. In this, it is radically counter-cultural, affirming that this is not our home. "But the church can only have a counter-cultural message if it is deeply engaged in culture. The church subverts the worldly values of culture while it is in the world, actively and genuinely serving the lost. What we often take for a counter-cultural stance is simply irrelevance. When the church is irrelevant, it does not subvert the darkness of culture; it simply stands aloof from it." - - - - A couple of the authors are fellow Highland members, and as I read their excellent section on leadership -- about how the greatest need is for "saints" who pray, mentor, and guide -- I gave thanks again for the elders with whom I serve. These are men of compassion and courage, well formed in the Christian story. I know of no other group with whom I'd so quickly entrust my family's spiritual health.