What’s your “but” when it comes to church attendance? How about when it comes to church service? We all have them–those exceptions to what matters. Participating in the ministry of a local church comes with a long list of ifs, whens, and maybes for most people. However, the Church is Christ’s body and it will be built with you or in spite of you. Truth is, nothing in your life and your pending year (2021) matters as much as who you say Jesus is and what part you play in the building of His Church. It’s how we grow to maturity, avoid the calamity of wandering, and help others in love to do the same. What part will church play in your coming year and more importantly, what part will you play in the Church?
A new year brings much hope and newness. We’re in a new year now – 2021. After a year like 2020 was, walking into this year may feel like walking into the unknown. We don’t know what 2021 will bring, and, if it’s anything like 2020 was, there can be a lot of fear that comes with it.
Even in spite of the unknown and fear, we, as the Church, can be a people who lean in and understand that what matters most to God is what should matter most to us. Our focus, purpose, values, thoughts, and goals should be all about the things of Christ.
Though we don’t know what the future holds, what we do know is that there are still people who do not know Jesus. There are still people in this world who need to hear about Him and understand what a relationship with Him means. That’s why the Church matters so much in the time we’re living in. In the midst of the prevalent fear and unknown that is plaguing our country and our world, now is the time for the Church to rise up with one voice with a common ground in Christ to share the Good News of Jesus.
What you do in, with, and through the Church matters more than anything else you will do. It matters now maybe more than ever before in our lifetime. This year, there may have been many people who have wandered from the faith. On the other hand, there may be also people who are searching for something to help alleviate the pain, fear, and loss that this year has brought. These are the ones to whom we, as the Church of Jesus and as the church of Rolling Hills, have the power to bring the Gospel.
What the Bible Says about the Importance of the Church
In Matthew 16, we read what Peter’s response is when he’s asked who he thinks Jesus is. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). This passage matters because this statement changes everything for Peter. Who Peter believed Jesus was impacted the way he lived his life, how he shared Jesus with others, and, ultimately, where he would spend eternity.
The same can be said of us. Truthfully, nothing matters more than who we agree Jesus is because salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). There is no other name that can save, and if you’re a part of the Church, God’s body of believers, then you believe this, and, therefore, this impacts our testimony. It impacts those we come in contact with. It impacts the world.
This conversation between Jesus and Peter doesn’t end there. After Peter responds, Jesus says, And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church… (Matthew 16:18a) Why does this matter? It matters because, just as it was then, the Church is still being built today. It didn’t stop with Peter; our faith journey doesn’t stop at conversion. No, that is the very beginning. It’s meant to be built upon, and, when the Enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy, it’s that faith alone that will protect, save, and propel us forward into the uncertain and unknown.
What part will YOU play in God’s Church?
Even in a difficult year, God continues to do a transformative work in the lives of his people. He’s still writing His story – He’s still writing YOUR story. Your relationship with Christ is always meant to be built on. And you’re not meant to build alone. That’s why the church is called the body of Christ. Like a body, we work together, support together, and stand together. We all believe in who Jesus is and, in turn, have the same mission, goal, and purpose.
That’s why we can’t just play defense as a Church. We must go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus. This doesn’t mean being verbally aggressive. It doesn’t mean being offensive. It means speaking the truth in love. It means showing others who the Church is, especially to those who haven’t been to church. It means loving those who are different, those who don’t believe what we do, and those who have been hurt by the church. It means loving everyone always.
People need to hear who Jesus is. The Church matters. God has called you to be a part of His church, His body, His people. Let’s take the world by a storm. 2021 needs to be far more afraid of the Church than the Church is of it. No gate of anything can stand in our way. There is no difficulty, circumstance, challenge – NOTHING – that can stop the Church.