[The church] is a sinful community. It is, during most of its history, a weak, divided, and unsuccessful community. But because it is the community that lives by and bears witness to the risen life of the crucified Lord, it is the place where the reign of God is actually present and at work in the midst of history, and where the mission of Jesus is being accomplished…the reign of God is present in the midst of this sinful, weak, and divided community, not through any power or goodness of its own, but because God has called and chosen this company of people to be the bearers of his gift on behalf of all people.
— Lesslie Newbigin, The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission, 54