I love the Church (universal) more than I can say. It is a joy to meet Christians in other places, or other cities, and feel an immediate kinship with them. This is something only God can accomplish – we are one body by the Spirit of God.
I also love my church – that is, the church where I attend and worship. It is one of the ways God meets some of my deepest needs. My friends are there. Brothers and sisters in the Lord are there. We share a “like precious faith.” We do life together, share one another’s burdens, and rejoice in one another’s victories. On and on I could go, but you get the idea.
Bill Hybles has often said, “The local church is the hope of the world.” I believe those words with all my strength.
Many people today specialize in criticizing churches. The internet is alive with hate-talk. It is really appalling. While I do acknowledge that churches in America have a lot of room to improve, I also see many good things:
- More and more churches are becoming decidedly deliberate in fulfilling the Great Commission
- More churches are putting more emphasis on building people than on building buildings
- More and more churches are actually working together
- A lot of churches are on fire for God
- I love it that many churches are becoming passionate about worship, holiness, and knowing God through His Word
- I am thrilled to see so many churches that are fervent about reaching those who are far from God with the gospel of Jesus Christ
Sometimes I bump into people in town and they will say, “I go to your church.” Others will say, “I just love OUR church.” There’s a big difference between the two. When they say YOUR church I know they are not fully engaged in the life of PCC. In most cases they are not serving, participating, or giving. They are simply attending a church that is not yet “theirs.” But when someone says “I love MY church” they are usually very involved. The church doesn’t belong to someone else. It is THEIR church.
I am asking God to empower people to move from “going to church” to “being the church.” When they stop going and start being, the church goes from yours to mine.
The local church - it really is the hope of the world. I love the church.
What do you love about the Church? Your church?