Last Sunday morning my pastor, Austin Gardner, preached a phenomenal message from Ephesians 3. He helped give us a better understanding of why the church was referred to as “the mystery”. I would encourage you to listen or watch the sermon. Sermons consider the church and how it it is designed to bring glory to God is absolutely one of my favorite topics for discussion or preaching. I have alwasy thought what I saw at church was a beautiful portrayal of the fact that the wall of partition has been torn. Nothing excites me more than seeing a bunch of our teenage age guys from different parts of the world, different social levels, and would be labeled different at their schools all standing together singing words of praise to our Heavenly Father!
On Sunday evening I went to the Family Recovery Course at No Longer Bound. Every family member who would like to see their loved one in the program has to attend two classes at their facility on a Sunday evening. I enjoyed the lesson and Christ was given His rightful place in the discussion on “Becoming Whole”. There came a part in the lesson where the speaker said, “You must find a community of people to encourage you. You should meet with them once a week. You need to share your life together. Share the good times and the bad times.”. Then he went on to ask the crowd, “Where are some places you can do this?” After about 3 minutes of people naming support groups and programs my mother wrote on her notepad a word that I was already hearing my heart scream – “CHURCH”. After a while the speaker did mention church in along with the list of other places.
I firmly believe that if people understood what the church truly was and was left hear to do in this world then all churches would always be in a perpetual building project. People are looking for a place to be accepted. A place to be real and talk about their difficulties. A place where they find truths that will help them in their everyday lives. As our session ended I heard so many people mention how wonderful the night had been. As much as I enjoyed the night I knew that the experience I had just had is something that I get to enjoy at least times a week. I simply love church. I simply need church.
Here are some applications:
1. Instead of just promoting the events of our church or the place it meets let us show the world the product of this great anomaly. We should tell our friends how the church family has been so vital in our lives.
2. Let us be reminded of the great need for honesty and transparency among believers at church. When you ask someone, “How’s it goin’?” Allow them the time to answer truthfully and without fear of judgement from you.
3. We should work together at seeing more churches started. The world needs a church. They are sheep without a the Shepherd. Let’s give more time, energy, and attention to the church planting efforts around the world.
4. Help people understand what the church is all about. Help people outside of the church who have been given a bad impression on church a proper Biblical understanding of who we should be. Help the people inside of the church who do not understand the great mystery so we have less people like the before mentioned.