Relationship. Belonging. Connection. Purpose.
All kinds of groups claim to offer these sorts of benefits: college fraternities, fitness clubs, professional associations, addiction recovery programs, you name it. Even a consumer rewards program like the REI co-op tries to get in on the action. Join our group and connect with environmentally conscious, outdoor-lovers. It’s no surprise. People want such things. We appear to be hardwired with a desire for meaning through community.
So what makes our community as a local church any different? Other groups have relationships. Other groups provide a sense of belonging. Other groups offer connections with like-minded people and a purpose to occupy your evenings and weekends. Many people see the church as simply another organizational option among thousands. If you’re the religious type and the whole church thing gives you a sense of belonging and purpose, go for it.
I think many Christians would say the church is different, the church is more important, but they couldn’t tell you exactly why. They couldn’t say what sets the church apart from every other organization on the planet. Our next sermons series tackles this issue head on. Starting Sunday, May 12, we’ll take four weeks to explore the essence of biblical community, looking to God’s Word for answers to some basic questions about the church:
Who are we? (Ephesians 2:1-11)
What is our mission? (1 Peter 2:4-12)
What kind of authority do we have to fulfill our mission? (Matthew 16:13-20)
How must we live in order to get it done? (Acts 2:42-47)
Being part of the people of God means far more than attending a weekly worship service. It makes a claim on our identity and the entire orientation of our life. The church is a community like no other.