As we settle into our new home and new community, we, of course, are looking for a church home. Abundant Living requires belonging to a community of believers where we can worship, learn, grow, and serve. We are currently attending worship at a local church we have been several times before.
The messages do not disappoint. It is currently a series on Living Values: Unity, Inclusivity, Grace, Truth and Faith, Prayer, Every Believer a Minister, Family, and Neighborhood. We also attended the church’s Discovery class which provided an opportunity to understand the central doctrines, vision, mission goals, and values of the church.
So what are we looking for as we look for a church home?
Of course we’re looking for a community with a passion for Jesus. He is the author and perfector of our faith. He is essential.
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
We’re looking for a community with a passion for the Kingdom. We have been saved for a purpose, for God’s glory, for God’s Kingdom, the Kingdom breaking into the world now, and the Kingdom to come.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
We’re looking for a community of diversity, because we know that the Coming Kingdom will include people from all nations. How can we be prepared to be a part of a diverse kindgom, if we are not part of a diverse community now?
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9
We’re looking for a community with a heart for missions. God has a heart for the world, a heart for the poor, a heart for the oppressed. His Kingdom is upside down from the world and confounds reason. In His Kingdom, the poor, the oppressed, the widow and the orphan are cared for. In His Kingdom, the last shall be first. In His Kingdom, God uses the foolish and weak things, rather than the wise and strong.
“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” Psalm 12:5
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
“Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Tim Keller says in his book, Ministries of Mercy: the Call of the Jericho Road, as quoted by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert in When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor, “the kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through the enterance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty, and freedom.”
One day, Christ will return. Until then, we have an earth to be stewards of, justice to ensure is equal, mercy to show, and the opportunity to walk humbly with our God.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
We want to be part of a community that continues to grow spiritually, never stops learning, and identifies and encourages the gifts and contributions of every person.
There is no perfect church this side of the Coming Kingdom, but once we find our church home, we hope we will be part of seeking the Lord, praying diligently, and doing what God has called us to do as part of a community of believers.