Church, community of grace, welcome

The Local Church…

“The local church is the hope of the world.

There is nothing like the local church when it’s working right. 

Its beauty is indescribable. 

Its power is breath-taking. 

Its potential is unlimited. 

It comforts the grieving and heals the broken in the context of community. 

It builds bridges to seekers and offers truth to the confused.

It provides resources for those in need and opens its arms to the forgotten, the downtrodden, the disillusioned. 

It breaks the chains of addictions, frees the oppressed, and offers belonging to the marginalized of this world. 

Whatever the capacity for human suffering, the church has a greater capacity for healing and wholeness.

Still to this day, the potential of the local church is almost more than I can grasp. No other organization on earth is like the church.

Nothing even comes close”.

…Said Bill Hybels.

I find this inspiring.

Later on in his book Courageous leadership Hybels is sat next to a pompous army general… who was dismissive of Hybels being a Pastor, and said that Hybels couldn’t understand what if it were like to deal every day in matters of life and death. Hybels replied, ‘if only our stakes were that low!’

A reminder that we are not only dealers in life and death but echoes in eternity!

It is easy to get excited about the Church as a movement, and that is good, and there is truth in the saying from President Jed Bartlett on the West Wing who said “never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world, indeed, it’s all that ever has”.

Yet I think there is a danger in this thinking, Justin Welby said “Church is more than the rotary club with a pointy roof”…

The reason why the Church is the Hope of the World is because she is the Bride of Christ.

The hope of the World, is that we have an awesome God who chooses to work out his purposes through his people. Jesus is the Hope of the world, but he allows us to be (to quote St. Teresa) his hands and his feet.

Christ is present in every community you set foot in.

You alter the spiritual DNA of an area, just by being there as Christ’s ambassador, walking in with the spirit of God dwelling within you.

So a message for today. Let us not just GO to Church, but BE the Church.

Let’s be agents of the Kingdom of God where he has placed us..

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

 pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

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