What is the church to you?

The church is more than just a building.  Church is more than an hour of worship or a class that you attend.  The church is more than a ministry or program that you serve in.  All of those things are wonderful functions and byproducts of the church, but they are not the church itself.  The church is the people.  The Greek word is ekklesia, which literally means “the called-out ones.”  That word was previously used to describe the assembly of people for various civic purposes, but in Matthew 16:18, Jesus took that word and applied it in a new context for his own people. 

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rockI will build my church, and the gates of hellshall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).  The church is the called-out people of Jesus Christ who share that same confession of Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).  The church is a great blessing to God’s people because it serves as a family of faith for those who call upon the name of Jesus.  In fact, because it is such a blessing, the author of Hebrews exhorts the church to “not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).

We need each other.  The Bible is clear that the Christian life is not meant to be done alone.  It is difficult to shine your light for Jesus when you are constantly surrounded by darkness every day.  This is why Jesus created his church to function as a “city on a hill.”  The church offers hope for the lost, but it also offers refuge for the believer.  My question for you to consider today is: what is the church to you?  Is the church a family that you belong to, or have you perhaps relegated it to a much smaller function?  If you are not actively engaged in the community of faith, I would encourage you to take your next step today.

Our church is not a building, it is a family.  We come together each week in a building to worship and lift up the name of Jesus together, but we also break out into smaller groups to begin to do life together.  We offer Bible Fellowship Groups for all ages because we prioritize both of those things: the bible and fellowship.  We want every Christian to grow in their understanding of God’s Word, but we also want every Christian to grow in their relationships with each other. 

We have people in our church who have done life together for over 50 years!  What a legacy and incredible honor for them to experience that much life together.  My prayer is that God will grant each of you with such a blessing.  The reality is believers are not meant to do life alone.  We need each other for encouragement.  We need each other for correction and accountability. We need each other to walk through career transitions, new additions in our home, and tragic losses.  We need each other when we are sick and hurting, and we need each other when we are full of good health and life.  We are the sons and daughters of God, and he has called his children to walk through life as a family.

If you haven’t found community yet, we would love to help you do so.  Simply reach out to our staff or fill out a get connected form at church or online, and we’ll be ready to come alongside you in this season.  Don’t neglect the gathering this weekend and take the opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus and be sharpened by your brothers and sisters in the faith.  I look forward to worshipping and connecting with you this Sunday.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Message – More Than Conquerors – “The Roads We Travel” Romans 8:5-11

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