What Should the Church look like?

When you hear the word, “church,” what do you think of?  How do you picture it?  We don’t “go to church.”  We are the church.  Why do we often associate the word “church” with a place and time…or a building?  Even though it is symbolized as a building, that is not what the church, eklesia, is.  In a study we did this week, we found that eklesia, the word Jesus uses when he talked about building His church, actually means “gathering.”  But it is more than that.  It is the body of Christ.  It is a group of believers gathered together in unity, to worship God, to lift each other up, to pray together, to meet each other’s need, to live life together, to go out and share the love of Christ to others.  One of the churches I was a part of had a simple mission statement:  To love God and to love others, pursue Christ’s character, serve the world.  To follow Christ and invite others to follow Him.  That is what church is all about.

So what should it look like?  What do you look for in a church?

These are my personal desires in a church.  First, small groups (not necessarily in a particular order).  Having a small group Bible study in a home each week is the most important to me.  That is where you get to really know others, where you can dig deep into the scriptures, where you can grow together.  Along with that, and most importantly is Biblical teaching.  Does the church follow the Bible and teach the truth without sugar-coating or avoiding certain scriptural truths?  Does it have sound Biblical teaching?  What is most important to a church, God’s truth or attendance or something else? Christ should be the foundation.  Then, is the church welcoming?  Are the people loving and friendly?  Of course, we must remember that they are human.  Expect flaws and imperfections.  People are people.  We all have issues.  What kind of ministries do they have and how can I get involved and serve?  Church is not just a service to attend.  We all have a part.  Then, it is a matter of personal preference.  music, style of preaching, etc.  I like contemporary Christian music.  I love to see musical talent (of which I have none), I love a good dynamic speaker.  But we shouldn’t get bogged down on some of these things.  We are there to worship God, not be entertained.

What do the scriptures say about what a church should be?  What is God’s desire in a church? Continue reading “What Should the Church look like?”

Anxiety and Worry

After the last series, I was not sure what to write about next.  I am still not sure where to go from here.  I need to be patient and listen to the Holy Spirit to guide me.  In the meantime, I have been struggling looking for work.  I was laid off the end of July and it has been frustrating, getting few calls.  There also has been a couple family issues to deal with.  So, this one is kind of reminding me that God is good and He provides.  He will take care of me and I don’t have to worry, because I can trust in Him for things to work out.  It is a time to remember that many in this world are struggling, a lot worse than I.  I have been very blessed, as most people are in this country and many of us take it for granted.  I have been to Haiti several times and each time I am reminded of this.  Though people are in poverty, sometimes in danger, they still can find joy.  I see it in their smiles, I see it in the love they have shown me.  This lady in the featured picture was always smiling and singing praises to God, though she lived in an impoverished, struggling country.  We can learn from people like her.  God doesn’t always give us everything we want or get us out of the storm, but He is always there to help us through it.  And I know there is more blessing ahead.  So, don’t worry. Continue reading “Anxiety and Worry”

I AMs…Before Abraham was, I AM.

There has been a couple times now that I received a comment from someone claiming I do not understand the scriptures and that Jesus is not God and never claimed to be.  I admit that I do not understand all the scriptures and by no means am I an expert, but one thing I do know and have no doubt is that Jesus is Lord.  He came to this earth, God in the flesh, to save us from our sins.  Jesus’ I AM statements along with His works show us that He is God.  To not believe that Jesus is God, you would have to remove much of the New Testament (and The Old Testament, that points to the Messiah).  I hope and pray that people would believe, that they would be saved and accept God’s grace through His blood, through His death and resurrection. Continue reading “I AMs…Before Abraham was, I AM.”

I AM’s…The Vine

Jesus uses much about the pastoral and agricultural lifestyle of Israel in His parables and analogies.  Much of their wealth and well-being is based on their vineyards and olive gardens. Here, Jesus says, “I am the vine.”  The vine is the sustainer; without the vine there is no fruit.  The vine is the livelihood of the family business.  Jesus is described as the cornerstone.  It is the same principle.  He is the foundation of our faith, of our life. Continue reading “I AM’s…The Vine”

I AM’s…The Way, the Truth, the Life

There was a sermon a couple weeks ago about how Christianity is exclusive…yet very inclusive.  Jesus Christ offers salvation to ALL who believe.  If you trust in Jesus Christ, you will be saved.  No exceptions.  But it is ONLY through Jesus Christ.  There is no other way to heaven.  No other way to the Father.  Jesus is the only way.  Through Him we have eternal life.  That is the truth. Continue reading “I AM’s…The Way, the Truth, the Life”