Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed to be, in this sermon from 1 Peter 2:4-12, 21-25. What I found most inspiring about this sermon is Keller's unwillingness to compromise on living the church of Jesus Christ today. Keller brings a wonderful freshness in how we as Christians thrive the most when we are part of a Christian community--a church. And, Keller challenges us in being, as he describes it, aliens, living and participating in the world while retaining the fragrance of the redeemer, Christ our lord.
http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sites/sermons2.redeemer.com/files/sermons/RPC-The_Gospel_the_Church_and_the_World.mp3I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth. (John 17)