What kind of connection do you have to your church? I recently read an article asking this very question in the Evangelical Free Church of America web update newsletter by Kerry Doyal. So here goes, what connection do we have to our church, Victory Christian Fellowship?
I’m not asking if you are a member or how regularly you attend or give. Rather, how much are Victory’s people a part of your life and you theirs? Do you see people in our church as family or fellow attendees? Do you think of our church as a “them” or as “us, we”?
Many of us can be tempted to see our church, (perhaps the church) as a spiritual utility company: a place that holds a service where the pastor meets—or doesn’t meet—our needs. As phone, electric and cable companies provide services to benefit our lives, so does the church. Or so we tend to think.
The Bible goes far beyond this conception of church, however. We often fail to recognize how deeply Jesus wants our lives and the life of His Church to intertwine. We’re often quite pleased with our comfortable, yet shallow, relationship with our spiritual family.
Few among us tend to remember that the Church is a blood-bought body into which we have been baptized and placed by Jesus. We belong to a body that is as interdependent and connected as our own (Ephesians 4; 1 Corinthians 12, 13; Romans 12). Which of these phrases sound like how you have described your church to others?
“I go to Pastor So-and-So’s church.”
“I go to a such-and-such church.”
“I go to a church that offers (a list of programs).”
“I go to my family’s church.”
May I suggest the biblical design for church should be more like:
“I go to a church with my brothers and sisters in Christ.”
To use an old, noble term, you are a churchman or churchwoman. Biblically, New Testament Christian’s are committed to serving and meeting the needs of our church family. Practically, the churchman or churchwoman is the need-meeting, class-teaching, stranger-greeting, sick-visiting, meal-fixing, flower-buying, card-sending brother or sister.
You rejoice with those who are getting married or having babies. You weep with those facing death, divorce, unemployment or disability. You know and acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, layoffs and major medical tests. You provide rides to the store, cut the grass, pay the bills, fix the car, slip cash to, pass along hand-me-downs, watch the kids, loan the car. You and I ARE the church, the living, breathing body of Jesus.
I want to urge us all to take the risk to be the church. Let us each lead the way by humbly serving each other as family. For when we do, Jesus will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). Especially, our brothers and sisters in Christ at Victory!.