Kerygmatic Communities

This article is based on the Encyclical written by Jeff Reed on “Kerygmatic Communities”.

To start, let’s define our terms. “Kerygma” is a Greek word that means “proclamation” or “preaching,” particularly in reference to the gospel message. “Community,” of course, refers to a group of people who share a common identity, purpose, or location. So, a kerygmatic community is a group of believers who come together around the proclamation of the gospel.

But why is this important? After all, isn’t every church centered around the gospel message? While that may be true in theory, in practice many churches can become distracted by other concerns – programs, traditions, personalities, or simply the busyness of life. Kerygmatic communities, on the other hand, prioritize the proclamation of the gospel as the foundation and driving force of their life together. This means that everything they do, from worship to discipleship to service, is grounded in the message of Jesus Christ.

The idea of a kerygmatic community has its roots in the early Church, particularly in the book of Acts. We see examples of this kind of community in places like Jerusalem, where believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). They shared their resources and cared for one another’s needs, living in such a way that “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). This kind of vibrant, gospel-centered community was a powerful witness to the surrounding culture.

Later in Acts, we see another example of a kerygmatic community in Antioch. This group of believers made up of both Jews and Gentiles, was formed as a result of the preaching of the gospel by some of the early apostles. The community grew and flourished, and it was from Antioch that Paul and Barnabas were sent out on their missionary journeys (Acts 13:1-3). The church in Antioch was known for its devotion to the gospel and its commitment to spreading the message to others.

So, what does it look like to be a part of a kerygmatic community today? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, as each community will look different depending on its context and culture. However, there are some key elements that tend to characterize kerygmatic communities across the board.

Firstly, kerygmatic communities are telling the story of Jesus by the very nature of their existence. This means that simply by being a part of the community, members embody and share the good news of Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” Kerygmatic communities are living proof of the transformative power of the gospel, and their very existence testifies to the truth of God’s love and grace.

Next, kerygmatic communities are designed with the proclamation of the gospel in mind. This means that everything from the structure of their meetings to the way they interact with one another is oriented towards sharing the good news of Jesus. As the author of Hebrews exhorts us in 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Kerygmatic communities understand the importance of gathering together to worship, learn, and encourage one another in the faith.

Another hallmark of kerygmatic communities is the profound change that takes place in the lives of their members. As Jesus himself says in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Kerygmatic communities are characterized by a deep, sacrificial love for one another that is grounded in the love of Christ. This love transforms the lives of members and makes them living testimonies to the power of the gospel.

Kerygmatic communities also prioritize intentional and meaningful community life. As the apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:9-13, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Kerygmatic communities understand that their love for one another extends beyond the walls of the church, and they seek to live out their faith through acts of service, hospitality, and generosity.

Another important aspect of kerygmatic communities is the way they tell their stories. As the apostle Peter exhorts us in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Kerygmatic communities understand that their stories are powerful testimonies to the grace of God, and they are always ready to share them with others.

Their participation in the regional multiplication of churches was also kerygmatic. They recognized that the mission of the church was not just to build a large, centralized institution, but to multiply itself into every corner of the world. They knew that the best way to do this was to plant new churches and to equip and train new leaders, and so they devoted themselves to this task.


  • Our meetings in our homes need to proclaim the kerygma story. 
  • The change in our lives needs to reflect the power of the gospel story.
  • The quality of our community life needs to adorn the gospel.
  • We must all be prepared to tell the story through our stories in a convincing manner.
  • Our churches must fully participate in the regional multiplication of churches.
  • Our churches must participate in the global progress of the gospel through complex apostolic networks.

Anything short of this is a fragmentation of the “master plan” of Christ

Please find my slides and a recording of the sermon taken at NLF Whitefield below:

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