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Why Church - Part 5 - Grow

As we come out of the pandemic Mark asks the question, Why Church? After all this time why should we bother with Church? What has church  got to offer and how can we play our part. Five short thoughts an invitations, plus an extra one at the end with some more detail for those that need it. 

Why Church? Part 5 - Grow

Why church? That is the question that I have been asking. This is part five of five. We've come to the end. Why church? Why after all this time, doing things differently, meeting online, attending other people's churches online, watching church in our pajamas, go and making tea half listening to the vicar, and maybe even not coming at all some weeks because who would notice. But why church, why as we step out of lockdown is church important? What has church got to offer you and why should you join in? Well, I've given you four reasons already. Why church? Because we are a family, because we are a body. Why church? Because we are encouraged when we meet together. Why church? Because together we have a purpose joining in with God in reconciling the world to himself. That was last week.

And this week I want to dive into a little bit of Ephesians. Ephesians 4:11-13: So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the measure of the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:11 -13. These are wonderful pictures verses words about how the church is supposed to work. You see the church is not a building. The church is people. The church is not about its leadership, whatever form that takes, whether that be priestly or whatever, it looks like. All of those people in those roles are there for a purpose. And the purpose is to equip the people of God. So that they are ready for works of service that they're built up until we all reach unity in the faith, in the knowledge, not of any old knowledge, but knowledge of the Son of God, of Jesus Christ, and that we become mature in him, attaining to God's measure of fullness, not our own.

How does this happen? It happens when we place our feet firmly on the word of God as the foundation. Our culture would want to shift that, our culture would want to have culture as the starting point, not the word of God. But as followers of Jesus, the word of God is our starting point. Not the culture.

And so we need to let the word of God inform what we think about relationships, and identity, and people, not the other way around and to do so with love, and grace, and tenderness. And we don't do this alone. All of these over the last five weeks have been about being together. Why church? Because we're family, because we're body, we're encouraged, we have a purpose together. Following Jesus is not a lone ranger activity. It is communal. We say our Father, not my Father. So on the word of God with each other, and also in the power of the Holy Spirit.

What we receive from him as we grow in maturity is not just ideas and intellectual thoughts, but we receive the very life, the fullness of God in us. And as we gather as church, whether it's in-person, or online, at home with the DVD, or even on catch up, however we gather as those future things are shaped, we should gather so that we receive from him so that we grow in his fullness.

And before we come into land on this, just remember a few of the nudges that I've given along the way, one of the early ones was to reinvest was to step down, to join in with our children and young people's work. Another one was to, was to rediscover, to join in with that set of studies that we're doing that will be part of our shared life together to rediscover God's heart. And this last one while I suspect you've guessed it by now, why church? Because together we grow and we grow better together than we do apart.

Let me remind you of where we've been and the encouragement in growing, is that we receive from the word of God, we receive from one another, but we also receive from the Spirit of God and that enables us to step forward. Let me remind you now where we've been that we're a family to step in, we're a body we're to step down together to serve and reinvest in our young people, we are encouraged we are to step up to that plate to spur one another on, that we have a purpose we just step out into the world and that we grow, we grow forward. Let's step forward together in the fullness of what God has got for us. Why church? Because church re-connects us. It's the place where we, re-invest, where we rebuild, where we rediscover, and where we receive.

I hope you found this helpful. Do share them, do encourage others to watch them. And let's be a church together. Amen.