For some ‘Church’ is an event they attend, with a buffet of convenient programs, enticing entertainment, an experience that will complement one’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, that consumer mentality toward ‘Church’ ironically limits one’s experience of the depth, breadth and potential of the local Church. A local Church is a family, at times messy, inconvenient at times, a place of fun and life but also place in which people ‘fight the good fight’ (1 Tim 6:12) together, cry, celebrate, dance and mourn. Church is a place where people can take off their masks and show their vulnerabilities and strengths as they continue to be transformed into the image of Jesus. Church is about being a community that is called to “…declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Checkout 'What is the Church'
Eph 5:25 tells us that
“Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”
If Christ loves the Church, so too we must love her but how can we do that practically?
FOUR WAYS WE SHOW OUR LOVE FOR THE CHURCH In each healthy family, there are underlying core convictions that are the same however the way of expressing these may differ in the practicalities from family to family and culture to culture. In the same way, healthy Churches will have the same core convictions but express these slightly differently, our part is participating in the ryhthms to be part
1. Get connected into community Hebrews 10:25 tells us
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NIVUK)
Genuine community is a commitment to one another and toward one another’s well being and call of God in Christ. It is also not a ‘casual affair’ as one might make it but a deeper broader experience. For more info on ‘What is Church’, you can check out this blog piece.
In our Church we express this in rhythms of community, we gather each Sunday’s across the City and during the week we gather in local life communities. To get plugged into a Life Community just contact us or chat to one of the local gathering Pastors.
2. Get equipped for the call of God in your life
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16 – 17
‘Church’ is the family and community in which we are taught, in which we are accountable as we a refined and have our minds renewed by the word of God (Rom 12:2). It is not only a place where we are taught, though, it is a place where we plug into spiritual mothers and fathers that help us in the journey (1 Cor 4:15). The process of learning and applying the word is ‘teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’ (2 Tim 3:16), the purpose is ‘so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17) The journey of being equipped is not a casual one but an intentional one. In the life of our Church, we have created platforms that aide in this journey including the ‘EQUIP Journey’, our Sunday teaching, life community Biblical focus, rightnowmedia and other supplementary resources. Start the ‘EQUIP Journey’ today! Speak with your local gathering pastor or contact us.
3. Use the gifts in your life to sacrificially serve others
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
In every family there are both internal needs and external needs. Healthy family members participate in both of these. Using our gifts and time to serve one another, even in the small things is vital. It expresses our love for one another, like the family washing up together after dinner, it expresses an overflow mentality rather than restaurant attitude to dinner where we sit back expecting to be served. If you are new one of the best ways to settle into the family is to serve next to others rather than experience ‘Church as a guest might experience dinner at your house. Speak to your local Gathering pastor about serving in the family today!
4. Invest financially reorienting and anchoring your vision in the Kingdom
Giving of our lives in every area is important, one of these areas is financial giving. The Apostle Paul encourages us to ‘excel in this grace of giving” (2 Cor 8:7)
“But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving… Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality ...” 2 Corinthians 8:7, 13-14
In our Church, we believe God directs us to give according to four principles. You can read more about these here but for the moment here are the basics.
a. Give with Purpose (Proverbs 27:23, 11:24 Proverbs 19:17, 1Corinthians 4:1)
“But generous people plan to do what is generous and they stand firm in their generosity.” (Isaiah 32:8)
b. Give with Priority
"Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income." Proverbs 3:9, TLB
c. Give Proportionately (1 Corinthians 16:2, Deuteronomy 8:18, 16:17)
“...set aside some of what you have earned and give it as an offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you to earn.” 1 Corinthians 16:2
d. Give Passionately (Mark 12:41-442 Corinthians 9:6 Psalm 96:8, 1 Timothy 6: 17)
"Each man should give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV
It is important to partner as part of the local community through your giving. To learn more check out divergentchurch.com/giving
WE LOVE THE CHURCH
BECAUSE CHRIST LOVED HER FIRST