"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
It is very important that we have a correct understanding of why God established the church and the part we have in the church. Church is where we can know Jesus and in having a relationship with Him, find our own unique identity and purpose. We are called to be the church, not “go to church”.
- The Church is Building!
A church building is where we gather each week, but it is important to remember that Jesus’ purpose and plan has always been the church (the group of people) and He is still building it today. It is His expression and presence on earth today (Matthew 16:18).
Jesus is actively growing the church in size and in strength, as people are saved and then grow in spiritual maturity and unity together. We are not designed to do the Christian life alone but in community. The church is described in the Bible as a body. Jesus is the head and each believer has a role to play. When we work together, each using our gifts, the Holy Spirit flows. This means the church grows and each of one of us grows!
- The Church is Community!
The church is the community of Christians. Church is not merely a place or a service to attend … rather it is a community to belong to. Church is about ‘us’. We are the church. Ephesians 2:20-22 highlights that the church is family and home. Our greatest desire is that at C3 you will “find community” and be able to say “this feels like home”.
As family, we meet together to build each other up. Church is about “us”; in the book of Hebrews the words ‘let us’ are used 13 times. We definitely aren’t an exclusive club and seek to embrace and welcome others in our Services, Connect Groups or into our homes and lives. Every person matters and we should attend church not just for ourselves but to welcome guests, sit with those who are alone and serve on team. Why not come to more than one service if you’re serving?
- The Church is Salt and Light!
The church ‘gathers’ (a city on a hill) and the church ‘scatters’ out into the community (salt of the earth) as Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:13-16. We gather in small groups and in large groups where we can be seen by the world and people can come to meet Christ (Acts 2:46-47).
Many churches stop at this point. They gather, but don’t go! When we leave church, we are called to carry Christ out into our circles of influence. Like salt, to bring the flavour of Christ, the flavour of the Kingdom, and the life preservation of the Gospel! WE are the church, EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE we are, with EVERYONE we meet. Together, we as the church can impact individuals and this city.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT:
- How have you seen your life impacted by the church?
- Share about different parts of church life that you may have participated in over time.
- What is your next step in 2020 to use your gifts and grow as part of the church community?
- Think of someone you’d like to reach out to in 2020 and take some time to pray as a group.