Stewardship – YOU are the Church

What is the Church?
Is it a building?
Is it a place where believers gather to worship?
Is it a program or a ministry?
NO, the church is you and me—believers who follow and serve Christ, who is the Head of the Church!
How we understand and perceive the Church is important in determining how we live our faith.  
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Matthew 16:15-18
Jesus was referring to Peter’s declaration: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This confession of faith is
the rock upon which the church is built, and just like Peter, everyone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord is a part of the Church.
The Church, “the body of Christ” began on the Day of Pentecost through the work of the Holy Spirit and will continue until the day of the rapture of the church.
As the local Church, we are to live in relationship with other believers—break bread together, pray for each other, teach and make disciples, strengthen and encourage one another.   
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and do good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  Hebrews 10:24-25
All believers are members of the universal Church which is made up of everyone who exercises faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.  
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—
whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were
all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13
Canon Ernest Southcott, founder of the home church movement in England, defined the church:
“The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God’s people—strengthened by preaching and sacrament—go out of the church door into the world to be the church. We don’t go to church; we are the church.”
The purpose of the Church is two-fold…To serve God and to serve others.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Matthew 28:19-20
So, the purpose of the church is to minister to believers and unbelievers.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it1 Corinthians 12:27
It’s so easy to show up at church (the building), sit in the pews, and when it’s all over we get up and go about our lives not really letting it affect us or change us. We have done our “duty” to God.
So how do we BE the church?
By telling people about Jesus, and sharing with others what God is doing in your life. Help your friends know and understand what it means to be a Christian.
Don’t just invite them to church, invite them to Jesus Christ.

-Joanie Lawrence-Cain