From the Pastor’s Heart
We are called to be Christ’s disciples as individuals, and as a church. Sadly, Christianity today seems centered more on the “me” and less on the “we.” The “me” spirit dominated the “Me Decades” of the 70s and 80s. In our time, Christianity is shaped by the egocentricity, narcissism and individuality of our culture.
“Rugged individualism” fights against the church’s corporate nature. Yet the Scripture is clear about the value and need of togetherness. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us not to give up the habit of meeting together, but instead to keep gathering for worship and mutual encouragement.
A Christianity Today article quotes Tim Stafford’s thoughts from his book The Church—Why Bother? “Once the individual hoped for acceptance by the church. Now the church hopes for acceptance by the individual. Any person can stand outside the church and critique its obedience to the gospel. But part of God’s call on a Christian’s life is to walk inside and die to self by relating to other human beings, both in their fallenness and redeemed glory. Encouragement needs a face; it needs a body. The church will fail and frustrate people . . . yet it will also bless them. A living, breathing congregation is the only place to live in healthy relationship to God.”
A “lone” Christian is an oxymoron. Broken and shattered as it is, the church is the body of Christ—His hands, feet and heart in the world. The church is not about me, or you, or us. It is His church, not ours. The purposes of the church include worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship and ministry. Worship focuses entirely on God’s power, wisdom and goodness. Evangelism has a heart for others’ relationship to God. Discipleship marches to the drumbeat of Jesus’ orders. Fellowship enjoys the company of other believers. Ministry reaches out in unselfish, compassionate concern for others’ needs.
See you in church.