Today let us answer the question of why join a church?
I don’t know about you but I am always receiving emails about joining some organisation or similar! If you are like me you begin to ask questions regarding that organisation. Is a church any different to any other organisation?
Firstly, the church was instituted by Christ.
Secondly, its members were people who believed that Christ paid the price for their sins and were now indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and a representative of Christ in the world.
Thirdly, in the early days, the followers of Jesus soon became unwanted by the then-religious people of the day. Going to the temple and synagogue became very unwelcoming. They did not share the same values and principles or belief in Jesus as those who were followers of Jesus. They had to break away to enjoy worshipping Jesus. Therefore they needed to meet somewhere else. At first in houses, but as the church grew bigger, buildings were needed and today we call those building churches, but really it is just where Followers of Jesus meet.
So what were the value and principles? I believe they included some of the following and I hope as Pastor, I go somewhere to achieving these values!
- A church that encourages your heart.
- A church that is united in love.
- A church with a commitment to truth.
- A church that lifts up Jesus.
- A church that is consistent.
Let it be suffice today to look at one particular aspect:
A church that comforts (encourages your heart)
It is within the arena of relationships that encouragement is given. The apostle Paul’s first longing for the church in Colosse was “that their hearts may be encouraged.” It literally means ‘to call alongside’.
An example of getting alongside one is to help shift a heavy load. They needed encouragement. They faced opposition and rejection. We have our own issues and today more than ever people need to see this, getting alongside in our community.
So let me leave you with a few verses God wanted us to know about encouraging one another.
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.2 Corinthians 13:11
so encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
As a church, there are some things we simply aren’t yet able to do. But I’ll tell you what we do have: we have the ability to encourage one another!
Stay Safe and Blessed.