Is Our Church Essential?
Tonight marks the second weekly Bible study with the current members of the Mountain Grove Restart. I am looking forward to spending some time looking at how to meet the needs of the community. After all, Christianity is all about needs. The entire premise is based on humanity's need for a Savior, but if we as a church are not helping to meet this most basic need in people's lives, we cannot hope to reach beyond this into meeting other needs in the community. The church must be essential. First, because it offers something that no other organization can: life-changing transformation and eternal life through Jesus Christ! And secondly, we are called by scripture to live differently. Part of this means that we put aside our own needs to help others. By loving our neighbors (Mark 12:31) we are handed great opportunities to also share the story of the Gospel.
A serious question we need to answer as believers is "Whose needs are more important - ours or those outside the church?" How we answer that question will direct the priorities of the church. I believe that a healthy, Biblical church has a solid balance of outreach and discipleship, but too often we leave both behind in an effort to entertain and pacify those who already claim to be believers.
A faith that does nothing to meet anyone's needs [not wants] is empty and dead - it is not going to attract anyone. We have to be essential to the community, because Jesus is essential to everyone.
[On a personal note: we have physically moved now! We are excited to be on the ground and becoming involved locally.]