January 2015 – Moment with Mike

QuestionIn October’s newsletter, I started writing about a concern many of you have shared, which is that we need younger individuals and families involved in our church. Though there is no magical formula for reaching younger people, there are three questions we must be able to answer clearly and with sincerity. They are as follows.
1. Why do people need Jesus Christ?
2. Why do people need the Church?
3. Why do people need our church?
In November, I wrote about the answer to the first question, so now it is time to consider the other two. Why do people need the Church? This is an important question to consider because there are many who believe that their faith is an individual thing between them and God. “Why do I have to get up early on a Sunday and sit through a boring service?” Hopefully it isn’t boring, although I’m sure there are moments!
We need the Church because when Jesus forgave and restored us, he didn’t do it for our own benefit only. Jesus didn’t just die so we can have a comfortable afterlife. He died to forgive you so that you can then be a blessing to others and join him in the restoration and renewal of the world. This is a task that is too large for one person; therefore, Jesus started a movement, called the Church, which was to carry out the job that Israel failed to do. Israel was called to share God’s love and blessings to the world, but they be-came too inwardly focused, thinking everything was about them. The Church was created to carry on this task. Jesus died for us and for the Church, and he is calling you to join this body of believers so that we can transform the world together.
Church is important because it is commanded by God, and worship helps us to grow closer in our relationship to God. Through the Church we are supported in our spiritual journey, connected to others who are also learning, challenged to serve others in ministry, and we go out into the world together to tell others about Jesus and to serve their needs in his name. Jesus used the imagery of the vine and the branches. The branches must remain connected to the vine, and this is done primarily through involvement in the Church. Is it possible to be a Christian without being involved in the church? I suppose it is, but we have to remember that Jesus’ primary concern was to seek and save the lost, and he chose the creation of the Church to most effectively get the job done. Knowing this, how could we ever possibly think we could do better on our own? You need the Church because your faith and salvation were never about just you. They are about the restoration of the world; something to which God has called all of us.

God bless,
Pastor Mike