When Ken Wytzma, pastor of Antioch Church in Bend, Oregon, asked me to teach on the subject of faith, I kew exactly what I wanted to talk about: The Role of Faith in Community.
Here is the sermon:
Here are the Bullet Points:
Christian, you were not reborn to live alone and find your own lonely way through life. God gave you a community to love you with protective love. But you must have the faith it takes to receive the blessings of community.
If you think that the church is there to serve your needs, think again. The church is there to stimulate you to the love and good works Jesus had in mind when he saved you by his grace. To live without community is to live without one of the primary resources God had provided for you in Christ.
Church hopper, stop hopping and start engaging with a community of faith that will protect you from yourself by telling you the truth about yourself.
The church should be a safe place, but it was never meant to be a soft place. Who else is going to tell you the truth about yourself if not your Christian friends and the spiritual leaders of your faith community?
The time is going to come when the message of the community is going to be something you do not want to hear. When that happens that’s a God-given opportunity to either grow toward your destiny in Christ or to return to your so-called successful, satisfied, medicated and isolated mythology.
The joy of intimacy with Christ and one another in community eclipses the pain of the messiness of authentic community.
Don’t let your fear of the pain of what you’re trying to avoid about church keep you from the joy of what God wants you to experience in church.