Church is a People, Not a Product

School is officially back in session!  Kids have now found their way back to the classrooms, including right here at ABC with our Little Lights Preschool.  New school years always bring new beginnings, and I’m excited to see how God will begin a fresh new work in our ABC kids this year.  I hope you are still wearing your prayer bracelet from last weekend, and I encourage you to take some time to pray for that child by name today.

I firmly believe it is impossible to raise children to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ without belonging to a healthy local church.  Here at ABC, we strive to shine as that “city on a hill” that Jesus describes in Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Healthy local churches cannot be hidden because their light always offers hope for the lost and refuge for the saved.  I truly believe the local church is the hope for the world because we have been entrusted with the solution for the world, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

My question for you to consider today is, “have you gone all in at ABC?” Many Christians attend church, but not all truly belong to a church.  They may consume the product of a worship service regularly, but they may also never be fully immersed into a community of faith.  I encourage you to war against that western consumer mindset and remind yourself that church is supposed to be a people, not a product.  Church is not something we “do,” it is who we are.  I would encourage you to go “all in” at ABC by committing to do three things: Grow, Give and Go.

Grow.  We teach the word of God in our worship services, Sunday morning BFG classes, and Midweek discipleship classes.  We do this purposefully because we believe the word of God is inerrant (2 Tim 3:16), it is our authority (Ps 119:105), and it has the power to transform our lives (Heb 4:12, Rom 12:2).  Commit to worship each week, and come expectant to hear from the Lord through His word.  Commit to belong to a BFG class, so you can deepen your understanding of Scripture, ask questions, and begin to build Gospel-centered relationships with peers.

Give.  All things were made by Christ, through Christ, and for Christ (Colossians 1:16).  We are called to live generous lives because He has already been generous with us.  Yes, this does mean worshipping the Lord through our tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:10, Prov 3:9-10). But it also means worshipping Him through our time and talent.  I’m so proud of the hundreds of volunteers who serve our church faithfully each week. I’m proud of the dozens of adults who have been working hard these past few weeks in the Great Hall to bless a family in need with a new home.  I have found that the best way to find friendships and community in a church is by serving together.

Go.  Jesus did not call the church to stay, He called it to “go” (Matthew 28:19).  The church is meant to press on far beyond our physical walls.  This means we must learn to live intentional lives, on mission in our homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.  Additionally, we must learn to do life with one another Monday through Saturday.  I love hearing how many of our BFG classes go out together, vacation together, and invest in each other’s lives.  I love hearing how our people minister to each other through prayer, checking in, visiting the hospital, or coming alongside one another in time of need. 

My question for you to consider is, “have you experienced church like that?”  If not, what is your next step?  For some, maybe you need to focus on growing by committing to worship and BFG’s each week.  Others may need to focus on giving.  Maybe you need to establish the discipline of tithing, or sign up to serve on one of our wonderful volunteer teams.  Others maybe need to start going.  You can get on mission this week by beginning to invest in the lives of others around you. I don’t what your next step is, but I do know that God will bless your obedience if you take that step of faith.  God wants to use each of our homes to help build His house.  And I’ve found that when you go “all in,” your home will also be blessed in the process.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we focus on “God’s Home Design” in Ephesians chapter 5.  We will also be honoring our 1st graders in both services for our annual “First Grade Bible Presentation.”  I hope you plan to join me to celebrate that special milestone moment this weekend.  Invite a friend and I’ll see you at 9am or 11:11am.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon: Homebuilders – “Cleaning House” – Ephesians 4:25-32

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