The Gift of Church
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)
In the context of the letter to the Hebrews, persecutions cause believers to abandon the church. Today the pandemic has the same effect on believers as well. Church experts are telling us that there will be no return to normal attendance in the global church. Even though many aspects of daily life are becoming more normal, and vaccines are available, many people are not returning to their churches.
When we allow excuses and faulty reasoning to keep us away from gathering with God’s people. our faith can become toxic and have a negative impact on our relationships. Then it is easy to pass judgement on others and not look for the best in them.
A healthy sense of community is essential for spiritual growth and well-being.
Christ gives us the church for our benefit, and we must not undervalue the importance of belonging to a local church. The privilege of articulating and expressing your faith among believers not only feeds your spirit but also feeds everyone around you. A healthy church community does not oppress, dominate, or make each other unhappy. We learn to value one another and encourage others to do the same. When expressed correctly, community adds a rich texture to faith. Because you cannot grow well in isolation, faith cannot survive in the absence of authentic relationships and healthy connections.
If our community experience has been negative, we must forgive those who have failed to care for us and learn to start over. You may think it’s impossible. However, this is not the case. It all comes down to whether you believe the gospel or not. We should not abandon friendship and community because we see what our brothers and sisters lack. If we go down that road, we will never be honest with most people, not because we don’t want to hurt them, but because we lack the grace and love necessary to cultivate healthy and strong friendships. Then we will have a long list of messed-up relationships to deal with and won’t be able to walk away clean.
God’s love is the foundation and basis of all healthy friendships. If a new start with God is possible, then a new start with one another is also possible. It takes great courage on our part, however, to treat others with love and patience.
Pastor of Firstlight Church
Perth, Western Australia
With kind permission from author of this article.
Please pay special attention:
ICF will NOT be having an on-site worship service on 31st July 2022. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your kind understanding.