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The Church- what is it?

What is the church? Is it a big, pretty building? Are there rows and rows of pews with soft cushions on them just waiting to be filled by all the many who will walk through the front doors? Are there lots of classrooms available to hold the many who are eager to learn how to dig deeper into God's Word? Maybe there is a nice choir room containing all the latest sound and recording equipment? What about a fellowship hall for social gatherings and Wednesday night meals? Is church all these things? NO. The church is not a building; instead the church is all those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, all those who have a personal relationship with Him.

"You are members of God's very own family,
citizens of God's country,
and you belong in God's household with
every other Christian."
Ephesians 2:19b, LB

Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a nice building to gather in in order to experience corporate worship. In fact, that is exactly what we are supposed to be doing- coming together to worship the Lord, to encourage fellow believers, to teach those new in the faith, and to learn for ourselves how to grow in our relationship with God. But in order for the church to function in this manner, all it's members must be present. Each of us are given specific tasks and responsibilities within the body of Christ.

"A spiritual gift is given to each of us
as a means of helping the entire church."
1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT

Think of the body of believers, the church, as a car. The car isn't going anywhere if there are no tires on it. It's not going to start if you have no keys. You can't steer if there is no steering wheel. Every part of the car must be in the right place in order for the car to run properly. It's the same way within the church. Every member must be present, doing his or her part in order for the church to fulfill its purpose.

Are you doing your part in your local body of believers? Are you using your gifts and talents or is the church suffering because other things are more important to you?

Maybe you aren't sure what your spiritual gifts are? God has gifted you with very specific gifts for very specific purposes. If you are unsure what you gifts are, I'd like to encourage you to take a "spiritual gifts assessment". It's not an end all, be all- it's not going to lay out for you God's exact calling on your life, but it will give you an idea as to what areas God has gifted you in.

I encourage you to complete this "Spiritual Gifts Discovery Tool" when you get a chance. The profile sheet will give you an explanation for what each of the gifts are.

2 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Victoria said...

Love this! My church has a SHAPE class going on this fall and I can't wait to find out how I can better serve within the church. The Church (as in God's working body of people) is a bit easier to find your place in than the church (you know, the building you worship in) but I'm eager to know both! Thanks for the encouragement!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Great post my friend! The building is important but it is not the church. Thank you for the great reminder that we all need to do our part to really make it a church.