Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

The answer to the question above is both yes and no. No one church can make a difference apart from the power of Christ. Yet, any church can make a difference when empowered by Christ. I look to start blogging more regularly again. My small church is going to be busy in the next year plus trying to make disciples of all nations. I hope to document not what we do, so much as what I see God doing through us. The journey will include trips to Thailand and the Northeast US. Also not forgetting good old Jasper Indiana, as we kick off Impact Jasper this summer.

I know this – God intends to reach all nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has chosen His people to proclaim this message. So, we may go forth in confidence knowing that no matter how difficult, some will be saved from every people group. He is powerful and mighty to save. I implore everyone, that where there are ears to hear, we would proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The work is not easy. The journey may be hard, but eternity is at stake for many. Stay tuned and may God by glorified in all that we do.

Why should I even go to church? This seems to be a popular question nowadays. There are so many critiques of the church that lead to this question, some warranted  and some not. The church is full of hypocrites is a complaint that is not new. I would not disagree with this comment, but I don’t see this leading to avoidance of church. If we avoided every place that was full of hypocrites, we would need to quit our jobs, avoid shopping and restaurants, and pretty much anything that involves people. We would end up living in a cave, isolated from the world while trying to deny our own hypocritical behavior. The church is flawed, but so are you and I. In the end, Christ died for believers and for His bride, the church. He saves a people, the church, who are flawed. The church does itself damage when portraying itself as anything other than flawed. We are a gathering of sinners, who have been bought by the blood of Christ. We are not known by our perfection, but by the love we have for one another (John 13:35). A flawed sinful people who love and forgive one another are contrary to the world.

The church is outdated, boring and unneeded. I can be a Christian without church. The church is just a man made institution. This is just a few excuses from a list that would be a mile long. All essentially ignore Hebrews 10:25 which tells us not to forsake gathering together. I think one of the problems is how many Christians view the church. The church has become a building we come to once a week. By many Christians, the church is no longer viewed as a local body of those saved by Christ, who disciple, love, care and sacrifice for one another. Church has become little more than a religious club to many. We join clubs based on the benefits and enjoyment that they bring us. I think many unfortunately view the church in the same way. What we see as a result are people who want to be a part of the club for the benefits, without having to assume any leadership or responsibilities. When the benefits are not as expected, they leave church behind. Or when some other club (church) offers better “benefits”, they jump ship to that church. If this is your view of the church, then it is very possible for you to see church and irrelevant and unnecessary. However, when we view the church from a proper perspective, it is vital and necessary in our Christian lives.

As you have probably figured, I am extremely concerned by the lack of importance of the church portrayed by many in the church. How can we hate or even view indifferently that which Christ died for – His bride? Being invested into a local church will never be easy, and many times will be messy. However, Christ has placed us together to care for one another. Jesus gave us the mission to go and make disciples of all nations. That can not be done alone, it can only be accomplished together with the church local and universal. They is only a limited amount of discipleship that we can get on our own or through online materials. There is an investment that takes place in each others daily lives, that can not be replicated by audio or video resources. My hope and prayer is to see a new generation of believers who see the church for what it is. When we begin to love the church the way Jesus loves the church, everything changes. We are no longer looking for our benefits, but are looking at how we may benefit others. The sacrifice of our time and resources is done joyfully. We have a desire to be around other believers on days other than Sunday. All the excuses go away, and we can’t believe that we ever lived apart from other believers. The church becomes a family bonded by the blood of Christ. I know because the excuses were once mine too.

The church I attend celebrated it’s 50th anniversary this weekend. Many former members and pastors returned for this celebration. Several of the pastors spoke or gave sermons today. Several good points were made that apply to both our church and many other churches out there. We need to celebrate the past, but we need to do so without taking our eyes off the future. A church can’t become so wrapped up in it’s past accomplishments, that it forgets there is always work to do. We can become so wrapped up in what we did that we forget it really wasn’t us who did it anyways. Everything we have and everything we accomplish is by the grace of God. When a church starts saying, look at the beautiful building we built and look at how many people we are bringing in, a fall is soon to follow (Proverbs 16:18). It is not of our doing or the pastors doing, but of the power of Christ in us. That being said, we must move forward. As a Christian, we are to be serving the Lord until we are called home. When we get older, the manner in which we serve will change. That does not mean when we retire from our jobs that we stop serving God too. Too many times our senior members get burned out or are made to feel there is no place for them to serve. That can’t be the case, because they are vital to the health of a church. They have wisdom from years of serving God that needs to be imparted to the next generation. There is a disconnect in many churches today between our senior generation and the younger generation of Christians. This older generation has lived through a time of rapid changes in the world and in the church. The older generation looks back with fondness at how church used to be, while many in the younger generation have no desire to hear about what used to be. The church today needs to come together and be of one mind and of one goal. We need to learn from the past, while being relevant for today. We need to do all of this with one common goal of sharing the Gospel of Christ. Young or old that message never changes. Jesus Christ saves and He is the head of His church. Many have not heard the truth of the Gospel. It is each and everyone of our responsibilities to see that they do. Let’s move forward together with Christ as our leader.