There is nothing quite like a good church family. I took my family to church tonight like we usually do. We have a Wednesday night prayer meeting, where everybody shares the things that have been going on in their lives, and we pray for the people in our church and families and loved ones and our neighbors and coworkers and government leaders and whoever else God might lay on our hearts. And pretty much every time, there is a group praying at church, somebody mentions me (and my family too). It happens on Wednesday’s and Sundays and other days that we happen to get together. And it just reminds me that I am so blessed to have a church family that cares about me and prays for me. Of course it’s not about me, because they pray for everybody else in the church too. They pray for people who might be sick or having family issues or looking for a job or any other need. And they pray for people who are sharing their faith and reaching out to the world with the Gospel. They give thanks to God for everything he does in our lives. They show so much care for one another through their fellowship and their prayer and helping one another and taking care of each other. And it’s just so good.
Of course that’s what church is all about. It’s not about a preacher or a Sunday morning program or a youth ministry or a building or any of the things we so often define our churches by these days. The Bible describes the church as a living body, made of many different parts. And we come together through the direction and power of Jesus, and we support and encourage one another in our mission to make disciples. We spur one another on to good works. And we counsel and lend aid and take care of one an other. That’s what biblical church is.
I’ve heard so many people say that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. And technically that’s true. Repenting of sin and choosing to trust and obey Jesus is a personal choice that only you can make for yourself. But living as a Christian apart from the church is like a part of the body living apart from the body. If you could get a hand or a foot or an eyeball or an ear to survive apart from the body, that would be an impressive medical feat. But what would be the point of a hand or foot or eyeball or ear without the rest of the body? We were meant to come together and work as one to make the world a better place. So the people who think that church is just a thing you do once or twice a week, totally miss the point. We aren’t meant to only GO to church. We are meant to BE the church! And any Christian who doesn’t know that and live that, is missing out on a lot.
Anyway, I was just feeling thankful because of my church family and felt like sharing. Of course the real thanks goes to God. He’s the one that has helped to transform the lives of people who are a living part of our church body. He’s the one who helped every one of us become a part of him and be filled with his spirit to work and pray and live as a real church family. And I am so grateful to God and to my brothers and sisters of the church for the prayers and support and encouragement that they continue to give me and my family. And I pray that you know that kind of love and connection too.
If you’re missing that–if you’re a Christian “orphan”–you definitely need to get connected to a godly church where you can experience this blessing. And if you can’t find one, let me know…you can come be a part of my church family.