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?”
When we are struggling, when things are hard, when we have a crisis? What is the first thing we do? How do we try to fix it? So often we try to take care of it on our own. In my experience, this can often lead to disaster. Sometimes they work out for a while, but most of the time we find out that we need help. Why don’t we start there? We trust God. Do we show it? Is God our priority? Do we turn to Him fist for everything? As I was reading Daniel this week, I realized there is a lot we can learn from him: Continue reading “When You Have a Crisis”
One of the greatest promises God has given us is adoption to be children of God. For those of us who believe, He has accepted us to be part of His family and heirs of eternal life (more on this next time). He didn’t decide to adopt us because of our love for Him or all the great things that we have done, but because He loved us, because Christ died for us that we may be sons of God. I talked last time about being a sponsor for children and how missionaries go to a strange land and accept children as their own, sharing God’s love. How much more does God love us and accept us as His children. What an awesome thing! Continue reading “God’s Promise: Adoption”
What does the Bible say about marriage and relationships? I am no expert (if you want good, expert advice, try Focus on the Family or Family Life Today) and I have many flaws as a husband, but I try to follow what God says how to treat my wife and others. I often fail, but I try. I hope this post will encourage you, whether married or single. God’s Word has much to say about relationships and I would like to share with you a few scriptures to help you be a better husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend or what to look for in one. Marriage is a wonderful thing, created by God, so use wisdom, show love, be kind and honest, take your time, enjoy it, and always put God first and in the center of your life and your relationship. Continue reading “Marriage and Relationships”
One role the church often seems to neglect is discipling its members. When a person makes a decision to believe in Jesus Christ, we need to be there for them and guide them to grow and learn about their faith. A new believer should also seek godly counsel with those who are more mature believers. We all need to learn and to teach. As a church family, we need to grow together with our brothers and sisters. Continue reading “Students and Teachers of the Word”