What is the Church?

 

This Sunday I start a new series of messages on The Church. The first message will answer the question, “What is the church?” Now because some may read this question and think, “Why do we need a message about this? I know what the church is!”- I want to give you four reasons why this message, and indeed series of messages, is imperative.

1. The Bible talks about the Church.

From the formation of the church in Acts 2, the planting and strengthening of churches is paramount in the New Testament. This is also important when we consider Jesus’ words about building the church in Matthew 16. But, many have falsely characterized the church as just a building or cold institution. The truth is the Bible paints a vastly different picture of the church that we need to embrace.

2. The Culture has deemed the church superfluous.

At best our culture has identified the church as a nice organization that does nice things. But to many, it’s no different than any other non-profit organization. In fact, our culture sees the church as superfluous- an organization that the world could thrive without. The fact that churches, and by extension pastors, have little value to add to the world is part of the reason for the victory that was given to Freedom for Religion, as the courts ruled that housing allowances for Pastors was an unfair and unnecessary benefit (see here)

3. The Church has gotten a lot of bad press.

You don’t have to look hard to find some story in the news about a dysfunctional church. Thanks to the like of Westboro Baptist Church (who teaches that fallen soldiers in places like Iraq are the result of God’s punishment on America for abandoning biblical morality) many view the church as backward (see more here).

4. Hyper-Individualistic Christianity is on the Rise.

Their is a growing attitude among believers that active involvement in a church is optional and not necessary. Many “lone-ranger” Christians have written off the church as an “institution” that will just take up their time or ask them for money.

So, is the church just a nice group of people that you might consider making a priority? This Sunday join us as we let the Bible challenge us to think rightly about the church and the essential role it plays in the lives of believers.