This week I had the opportunity to listen to some great Christian leaders, speakers, and thinkers. As each one taught, I was touched by their words. Slowly my mind began to think of the Church as a local and global gathering. Deep in my heart, I felt this conviction, “I need these people.” I need to be connected to other believers for all they have to offer me in the name of Jesus.
1. I Need Christians to Teach Me. There is so much that I to learn. The moment I think I have figured everything out someone comes along and points out something new. The Bible, theology, and personal application are limitless topics. God’s people are always teaching me something if I am willing to listen and learn.
2. I Need Christians to Point Out My Flaws. There are moments when a word cuts to my heart, and it can access something I am doing or thinking wrong. It might be as simple as an ungodly attitude or as deep as a hidden sin. Other believers can say things and see things that I might have come to accept as normal but are slowly destroying me and my relationship with God.
3. I Need Christians to Encourage Me. There are times that life has seems to kick me over and over. Failure and frustration are a way of life. At moments like that, I am ready to throw up my hands in disgust and quit. Then another believer comes along and says some kind word or thanks me for my service. They encourage me to keep going through their words and actions, and I find the strength to keep the faith.
4. I Need Christians to Remind Me of Grace. It is easy to assume that all of life is about my best efforts. Unfortunately, my best efforts are usually flawed. I end up failing and distraught at my lack of spiritual strength. Other Christians have a way of pointing me back to Jesus and his work on the cross. They speak of grace and offer it to me without limitation when I need it most.
5. I Need Other Christians So That I am Not Alone. There are moments that I feel alone in the world because of my faith. I feel like I am the only one struggling to walk this path. I am the only one who finds it hard to share my faith and wants to give up. The Church reminds me that I am not alone. There are a whole group of people who are walking this path along with me.
I do not believe the Church is strictly utilitarian. God did not bring me into community strictly to meet my needs. I have as much to offer as I do to receive. The gifts that God has given me through the Church are to be shared so that other people feel the blessings of knowing me.
I know someone will say, “That may be how you feel about the Church, but that is not my experience.” My response is that you only feel these things when you are connected deeply over a period of years. These are not God’s gifts to the casual believer. They are the fruit of a life lived with a lasting connection to God’s people.
Each week we ask you to join our group so that one day you will experience all that God has to offer you. Won’t you come?