In our small group program for young adults (‘The HUB’) we have just started a study that’s all about loving our church. The aim of the study is to get us to rethink what church is really about, and to re-examine the attitudes that inform our behaviour as we walk into church each week.
Already in the first study we’re being challenged to see church, not so much as a place we go to passively receive, but rather, a place where Christians go to work. This can sound a bit harsh, but the New Testament consistently teaches that in the growth of the body of Christ (the church), each part must do its work (Eph 4; 1 Cor 12-14). It’s not that we should never expect to be encouraged or refreshed at church, but rather, that these blessings are experienced most fully as we commit ourselves to loving and serving God and his people. We gather as God’s people, to hear his word and to respond in faith and obedience. In our gatherings, we are in fellowship with one another, through the blood of Jesus, and because of that fellowship, we seek to meet the needs of others, even if that means sacrificing our own. That’s how God designed his Church!
At the end of our first study, we were set a simple challenge for the next time we walk into church. The challenge was to pray about where we sit, and to sit next to someone different. Will you join us in taking up this challenge? Who knows how God might answer our prayers!
Shane Ellery (Associate Minister, Youth and Young Adults)