As a married person, it’s hard to imagine having a close relationship with anyone who doesn’t care for my wife. I know she loves cats and she has strong opinions at times, but she’s still my favorite person in the whole world. Biblically speaking we’re also considered one in Christ, so anyone who takes issue with her is going to have a problem with me. If you’re married, then you probably feel the same way I do on this… I know Jesus does.
See, when we say “yes” to Jesus, we are also saying, “yes” to His Bride (the church). I know what some are thinking already, “loving cats is nothing compared to some of the things I’ve experienced with the church.” While that may be the case for many, it doesn’t rearrange the heart of God regarding His desire for us to relate to Him and others through authentic and life-giving community. Quite honestly a Christ follower without a church family long term is a contradiction to scripture.
Unfortunately, over the past few decades many are finding their way out of the church and they have resolved to never come back. Everything from authoritarian church government and moral failure in leadership to just down right mean and nasty church people are just a few of the issues that work to push many away from church. The demographics experts have labeled them the De-churched.
I love to rejoice with every new believer or un-churched person who says “yes” to Jesus, but more and more, I love it when the de-churched says “yes” to spiritual community again. I love to see people align themselves with the heart of God as communicated in Psalm 92:12-13…”The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.”
God wants you to flourish. God wants you to get planted in a local church and grow.
As many life-giving churches are promoting new semesters of small groups this time of year, consider finding where the Lord wants you planted together with other believers. Realize that the church may very well act like the crazy cat lady from time to time, but Jesus calls her his bride. Let’s love Jesus, let’s love the church, and as His church, let’s love our community to Jesus.
Greg Richards is lead pastor of Life Church, located on the square in Kaufman. For more info go to YourLifeChurch.com