We need the Church

I receive email updates of featured stories from Vital magazine, published here in Springfield, Missouri. One of the stories this past week was titled “Jesus Is Not All You Need.” This sounds counter to many Christian songs we often sing with conviction. But the author, Justin Lathrop, makes a point that “we need people.” Jesus expected the help of His disciples; He counted on them. Lathrop goes on to say, “I’ve invested so much of my life into building relationships with people. My time and energy is there, my thoughts are there, my passion is there—all because I know I couldn’t do the ministry I do without the people in my life.”

This all comes back to our connect group topic this past Sunday. We need the church. It is vital, not optional. Christ shed His blood for the church. According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for church, ekklésia, is used in some form in the Bible 114 times. This word is not defining a building or place of worship; it refers to the “people called out from the world.” The people of God, called “into His eternal kingdom.” (Quotes are from Strong’s.)

Many churches today clearly share their goals and purposes. Most of them follow this kind of an outline:

Worship/Encounter God

Connect/Fellowship

Knowledge of God/Bible study

Grow/Discipleship/Build up

Go/Live Out/Evangelism

What many of us seek is that family relationship, the fellowship of Christian brothers and sisters. We have the desire to be connected with others. The Bible itself seems to draw us into a connected story—the Old Testament leading us toward the coming Messiah and the New Testament bringing us into the age of grace in Jesus. The Bible—approx. 40 authors, 66 books, over 1,500 years in the making, and coming from 3 continents—is the Book that binds us together. Ephesians 4:5 further encourages this idea of unity among believers. There is oneness in the Lord, oneness in our faith, and oneness in our baptism. Let us continue to strive to be an organized group of believers with common goals and purposes, a team with the drive to accomplish the Christian mission. God bless you this week.

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