The Unexpected Blessings Of Belonging
I have a firm conviction that everyone needs a strong healthy church. Jenna and I have been blessed to have been part of four incredibly healthy expressions of a local church. The first was our home church in Seneca, SC. It’s where we both grew up, came to know the Lord, and experienced our first revival with a community of believers. The second was our time in Bible School at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, FL. There we found deep connections with people who longed for the deeper things of God. Our third was a church we helped plant in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area of Texas called Heartland. This was the first place we served together in a pastoral role. The fourth is an amazing church called Grace.
A church family is a place to BELIEVE together.
Our shared faith, vision, and values create a culture in which we find community. Our faith is strengthened by one another’s encouragement. Our lives our enriched by positive relationships. Our families are supported by other like-minded families. Our community is reached as we embrace a shared mission.
Can a person have a relationship with Jesus without being part of a local church? Yes, but they miss out on a deeper connection that is only made possible in community. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:23 that the church is His body that He fills “all in all”. He gave us the church so that we could experience a deeper, fuller relationship with Him and His people.
A church family is a place to BELONG together.
We are better together. God created us for community. That is why every person has a longing to find a place where they are loved and accepted. That place is His church. A healthy church has an open seat prepared just for you. You belong here!
It’s a missed point in the New Testament that the term disciple is used heavily in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) but vanishes in use after the book of Acts. In fact, the words most used are those connected to family. Why? Because the church is a family. A home for sons and daughters of God to come together and find a common unity that shapes their lives and changes their world.
A church family is a place to BECOME together.
He gave us the church to be equipped for the work of ministry. The church is where we are discipled, trained, and given opportunity to serve in the Kingdom of God. It is where we become all Jesus is, all Jesus does, and all Jesus wants.
This is what we mean when we say, “discover life in all its fullness”. Jesus gave His life and gave us His church so that we can experience a truly fulfilling life that is only available in Him. It is found in a relationship with Jesus, founded upon His word, and built up within His church.
A church family is a place to BE SENT together.
A truly healthy church isn’t just a place to discover our gifts and grow in them, but to use them towards reaching the world around us and see heaven come to earth. Each of us are full time ministers of the gospel and ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. We preach with our lives and words to a perishing world and introduce everyone in our reach to Jesus.
Do you see it? The church is a place to find the blessings of BELIEVING, BELONGING, BECOMING and BEING SENT. It is why every person needs a strong healthy church in their life. It’s why we work so tirelessly to build a strong healthy church and reach our community.
I know you know someone who would benefit from the connection you’ve found here at Grace World. Why not invite them to come be part of this healthy church? It just might change their life!
This weekend is a great opportunity to do just that. It’s “National Back to Church Sunday”. I will be preaching a dramatic illustrated message entitled, “Shattered”. We have planned an incredible day with something for every member of the family. Afterwards we are having a post service block party with inflatables, food and music.
It’s a proven fact that 8 to of 10 people say they’d come to church if invited by a friend. Be a bringer and let’s see a harvest this weekend!
PS: Don’t forget this Sunday is “National Back To Church Sunday”. We have prepared an incredible service to make it easy to invite your friends and family to participate. It all starts at 10am.