Not just any group…

I’ll never forget the counsel I received as a high school sophomore: “Colleges will look to your extracurricular activities to get a more complete picture of who you are, what your interests are, & how well-rounded you are…so choose wisely the clubs you will join/activities you will participate in.” A few weeks later & I remember going to my first Spanish club meeting. You have to know that my choice here had little to do w/ Spanish or being “well-rounded,” & everything to do with the semester trip we took to the local Mexican restaurant, others who were apart of this club, and did I mention, the trip to the local Mexican restaurant. I never hung out with my Spanish club friends, rarely attended the bi-monthly meetings, never worked on my fluency in the Spanish language, but you better believe that when it came time for the half day trip to the local Mexican restaurant–I was all in! Sadly, many today view the bride of Christ in much the same way that I viewed the Spanish Club–an optional, marginal accessory to an already defined life.

In the last post we talked about the need for us to know & be known in the context of a local church…the reality is that investment & commitment to a local church is far greater than casually looking for the place that is going to best provide the best amenities, a more comfortable experience, and/or that will not call its people to the high standards that are within God’s word. This haphazard approach, while pragmatically easier, doesn’t best ensure that you will find a community of believers in which you can know & be known. The best way to ensure that you are indeed able to find such a faith family is to be guided by the commands and precedents of God’s word because frankly God does know what is best for His glory & our good. So if you were pressed to give a defense for your understanding of what God’s word calls Christians to search for, value, & commit to in the context of a local church…what is your answer? Are the biblical characteristics of a healthy church the guiding characteristics that you & your family prioritize? So what ought be some of these biblically-defined, distinguishing marks of a local church? A great place to begin would be to consider these.

Over the next few weeks we will submit blog posts around several of these defining marks. We hope you would join in the conversation by reading, considering, & dialoguing with us around these important issues. We believe that where you find a church who values these & other biblically prescribed characteristics, there you find a paradigm for meaningful community in which people can know one another & are known by one another. The aim isn’t a formula (A + B =C), but when the Spirit begins creating a culture among the church that longs for the supremacy of God & an unwavering fidelity to His word…that church begins to more rightly display the inexpressible glory of the God whom they’ve patterned their ways after and they come to experience the depths of meaningful community. She’s the church, not a Spanish club…she’s the vehicle through which God has chosen to use to accomplish His mission, not the vehicle through which to ensure you are catered to…she’s the gospel made visible, she’s the object of Jesus’ affections, & she is the one Jesus is coming back for. If this is true (and it is because Bible confirms it), then certainly our investment in & experience with the local church ought be of paramount importance. Our hope at CLC is to be a healthy church whereby the glory of God is clearly seen & the fullness of community is rightly experienced. To this end we joyfully submit to God’s word as the God-ordained way we will arrive at this hope.


Posted on: March 7, 2013 - 4:57PM

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