One thing I am very passionate about is encouraging people to be actively serving the Lord! This is something that is so easy to find a way to do in the Church. The Church is the body of the Living Christ and is always in need of more people working together to serve others. I don't understand how people can say they can be a Christian and not belong to a church. I like the one answer that says "Yes, you can be a Christian without belonging to a church but you can't be a good one!'
Still, I struggle with this idea as well. The Great Commission Jesus gave is for every single Christian: Matthew 28:19-20: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In the local church, this is something we all do together as a family of God. We invite our friends to church. We greet them - connect with them - lead them in worship together - we baptize them together - we invite them to small groups and Bible studies where we pray and learn the Word of God together. We invite them to become members of our God family and invite them serve the Lord side-by-side with us. We support missionaries who take the word of God to all the nations. Together, we are fulfilling Jesus' Great Commission!
I don't know how you do all that as a lone-ranger Christian. Together, we need the community of Christ (the Church) in order to truly be obedient to Christ's commands to us. In John 14:23, Jesus said: "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." How do you fulfill the Great Commission without doing it together as a Church? How are we obeying His teaching if we're not a part of a local church?
I just read this quote by Perry Noble and I so passionately agree! "Spiritual maturity is developed when people do what Jesus did by serving others. It is bothersome to me when people claim they 'want to go deep' but have deep splinters in their rear ends from sitting around all day and doing nothing. Spiritual maturity is not only measured by knowledge; if that were the case, then the devil would be more spiritually mature than anyone on the planet, because he knows way more than all of us!"
Jesus gave His life for the Church. How can anyone say they don't 'need' the church to be a Christian? No, churches are not perfect because people are not perfect - but the Church is not man-made or woman-made - is is God-made and is an incredible gift to all of us! Treasure your Church - or - if you don't have one - come and check ours out! We are having an 'Open House' for all of October so it's a perfect time to visit!
At BHCC, we are all about doing church and community in teams! We currently have over twenty serving teams and seven small groups! We have tons of opportunities for people to find their God-called place to serve Him and His people! Come and discover the JOY of serving like Jesus served!
Love in Him ~ Pastor Lin :-)