“Nothing on earth has greater potential to change lives and carry out His kingdom work in your community, than your local church. There’s nothing like the local church when it’s working right. Its beauty is indescribable. Its power is breathtaking. Its potential is unlimited. No other organization on earth is like the church. Nothing even comes close.” – Bill Hybels.
People have different perspectives on the church. Some view it as a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. Others view it as a place of fellowship, worship, discipleship, ministry and mission. Still others see it as place to get married in or a good place to drop off the kids for a few hours. Some people don’t see a congregation of people singing “Amazing Grace” in a neighborhood church being very important in our modern era of transcontinental missiles, mind-boggling scientific discoveries, space exploration, and impressive educational advancements.
The Bible has a completely different perspective. Matthew 16:18 includes an unconditional promise that the church is God’s personal project (“I will build my church”) and that nothing or no one not even (“all the powers of hell”) will put it out of business. The local church is important because it is ordained by God. The church is ultimately a catalyst. It starts with a single person, or a single mustard seed, and touches the furthest reaches of the world. Just as the church changes our local community, the global church can save the world.
Think about it for a moment. The church is the only place to find true community, healing, compassion, and love. It is here people care. Really care. Not because of status or money. But because the Spirit of God is at work, weaving together the lives within the Body. The church, like no other institution, has provided motivation for the most lasting, unselfish, essential, courageous ministries on earth. It should thrill all of us to be connected with what God is doing locally, nationally and globally.
God has no need to use anything or anybody in the work of evangelizing the world. That is to say, He could, if He chose, speak directly to people to tell them the gospel himself. However, usually, God has laid the responsibility of mission on his people, and specifically on the local church, the body of Christ. It is in and through the church that Christ encounters, calls, transforms, equips, and sends His people into the world. God uses the church to introduce salvation to those who don’t know Him, and to nurture the faith of believers. The church is God’s instrument for expressing His love, grace, mercy, and concern for the world.
It is the instrument through which God brings His Kingdom to the earth. The local church is the hands, feet, and body of God. It displays God’s heart and does what He wills and has commanded, as such, it cannot be contained in a building with just a few members. The church is powerful because it does not come together for the sake of coming together, but is unified by Christ who is the one that enables us to love extraordinarily and to change the world for His name.
- What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of church?
- You may wake up on Sunday mornings and decide to go to church. But is church simply a place you go? Is church a destination or is it something more?
- Someone once said, “Church is something we are.” How might your life look different if you lived as though church wasn’t a destination or an event, but something you are?