Monday, January 21, 2013
This is "My Church"
This Sunday morning is a day in which we recognize all of our newcomers. Over the last year, we have been blessed to see many restored, baptized, or added to our spiritual family by relocation. I want everyone of you to remind yourself today that you are a part of the church, the body of Christ. Jesus said, "I will build My church..." (Matt. 16:18).
Though Christ is the Head of the church, and we are merely the body, this is our church, too. We have no authority over the kingdom, because this is not a democracy - it's a monarchy! But we must remember that as members who comprise the body, there is a sense in which we can individually say about the Willow Avenue church of Christ - "This is my church!"
A good friend mine who preaches in middle Tennessee works for a congregation that believes in what they call, "The 7 O's." It is a part of their identity and vision as they seek to glorify God and build up the church. Briefly - here are the 7 O's as I would interpret them...
One Book - this is seeking Biblical authority for all things spiritual
Oneness - endeavoring to keep the spirit of unity in the bind of peace
Openness - every member being willing to be transparent and honest
Outreach - loved for the lost; if evangelism is not at the center of a church, it will die
Opportunities for Service - everyone working, striving, growing, and being utilized
Outcome Oriented - you begin with goals, and you demand excellent results
Ownership - every last member of the body as a integral part and representative of Jesus Christ and the local family of believers.
Friend, what I am telling you today is that you matter. You matter to God. You matter to His universal church. You matter to the Willow Ave. church. You matter to me.
I will not rest or quit trying until every person in our church family sees Willow as "My church." Once you see it this way - you will be it this way!
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." ~ Eph. 3:20-21