Know & Be Known

I still remember the first time I read the story from Joshua Harris’ book Stop Dating the Church…a man is offered a job in a seemingly better part of the country with a great pay increase and better opportunities to climb the ladder of success within his company. As I was reading I remember thinking, “this really sounds great…another story of a man whose work the Lord was blessing–you know he takes the job, becomes CEO of a Fortune 500 company, & is able to do great things for the Lord.” For some that is the route taken, but for this particular man in the story all of the benefits & blessings that were promised through such a move were no match for the blessing of knowing others & being known by them in meaningful community within his local church. Rest assured the blessing wasn’t merely in having friends, it was far greater than that. The blessing of his local church was anchored in a community patterned after God’s design for the church in His word (meaningful membership, expositional preaching, biblically faithful statement of faith, etc) as well as the relationships that were rooted in fellowship around the gospel in a covenant community. You see for this man such a gift was not something that you could buy on the cheap or assume exists everywhere…no this gift was forged through time, trials, life shared together, intentional accountability, & great grace. Because of this…it was a greater gain to stay in covenant community with his faith family at the current career level than to move on from this community to gain the next rung of success or to fit a higher income tax bracket. As I was reading I was overcome with great sadness that far too many professing believers would have taken the job without having ever considered the gift of meaningful community in their local church family (I am in no way advocating never taking another job, moving across country, or leaving your local church–the Spirit leads & prompts in these ways…what I am advocating is thinking well about such decisions).

What about you? When the phone call comes in with the lucrative job offer brimming over with all the perks you can imagine, how does your local church family play into this decision? I assume the answer to that question is probably found in your answer to this one…how well do you know & are you known by your faith family? What does life together look like? What is life together based around? Are you convinced of meaningful church membership? Why/why not? What ought be the distinguishing marks of a church that you prayerfully considering becoming a member? Over the next few weeks we will highlight what we believe God’s word teaches us to look for & be in a healthy local church. As I write I can’t help but be reminded of our local church’s great need to grow in these areas. I also can’t help but be humbled at the precedent that is being set among our faith family. To know & be known…its been our longing all along, first in terms of our standing towards God & secondarily in our relationships with others. The church…she’s not perfect & at times can be grossly underdeveloped, but don’t give up on her! Christ never has & never will & in that we find great hope, hope for advancing the cause of Christ to all people groups of our world as well as hope to be meaningfully connected to a people who exist to display God’s glory in all things. Find a healthy local church, invest in a meaningful way, live on mission in community, know others in a way that encourages their growth in godliness, & be known in a way that promotes your sanctification-knowing that doing so really does make the Savior of your soul look glorious.


Posted on: February 23, 2013 - 8:24PM

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