Church Guide

What is the Church?

If you Google “What is the Church” it will return something like this:

Noun: church/CH?rCH/

1) A building used for public Christian worship.

2) A particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines: “the Church of England”.

However many things the Church may be, and no matter how much I like google, that is two things that the Church is not. The Church is not a building, nor an organization.

The Church is people… The first mention of the Church in the bible is Matthew 6:18 and uses the Greek word: Ekkleesia. In the New Testament Ekkleesia never means the building or house of assembly, because church buildings were built long AFTER the apostolic age. It means an organized body, whose unity does not depend on its being met together in one place; not an assemblage of atoms, but members in their several places united to the One Head, Christ, and forming one organic living whole (1 Cor 12). The bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-32; 1:22), the body of which He is the Head. The household of Christ and of God (Matt 10:25; Eph 2:19). The temple of the Holy Spirit, made up of living stones (Eph 2:22; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Peter 2:5). Ekkleesia literally means: “The called out ones”.

In today’s culture though there is no denying that our understanding of the word Church is a building. Certainly google thinks that. So even though it is the body of believers that is the actual “Church”, for ease of use, in this document we will use the term “Church” to refer to a local assembly of believers gathered together in a building.

Why would I want to attend Church?

You can be saved and get to heaven without going to church, but in reality it is difficult to walk alone. In Christianity the Lone Ranger eventually becomes a Lonely Stranger. While there are many reasons that you would want to attend a local church, some of which I will list below, the main reason (for me) is becoming part of a Church family. You are surrounded by people that care when the storms of life hit. You have brothers and sisters to turn to, to talk with, to spend time with, to pray with, to share your faith with and you do not have to walk alone. We attend a thriving community church and it is the highlight of our week. There is always something going on that we can take part in like: life groups, prayer meetings, bible studies, praise and worship concerts, conferences, movies, various outreaches and group outings, along with many opportunities to eat. It is great fun and adds spice to our life.

But I have problems:

We all have problems. Churches are not museums for the healthy, sinless, perfect people. They are sanctuaries for those of us who are broken, hurting and in need of healing through the word of God. (News Flash…..that’s all people!) Jesus will accept you just as you are. You can never make yourself perfect anyway, you just accept His forgiveness and move on. It is very important that we hear the word of God to bring change to our lives. This is how we become better people. The Bible says, “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it,” (Isa. 55:11). Also, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” (Heb. 4:12). The word of God, when it is preached, presents to us the truth that the Lord wants us to know. We need to hear the word of God presented to us, analyzed, and applied to our lives so that we can live better, accomplish what God desires for us, and can bring glory and honor to Him.

The word of God is like a mirror that shows us what we truly look like. Do not try and make your self worthy to go to Church, You already are! John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~NKJV. This was written for YOU.

Tips for finding a local Church:

When searching for a local Church to attend there are some things to be prepared for. Here are some tips that may help you:

The “Body of Christ” is made up of believers everywhere with Jesus as the head. Like it or not, as Christians, we are a part of the same body. Baptist, Catholic or Charismatic – You are brothers and sisters. We often point at each other and will divide over the smallest things, but even then, we are still a part of the Body of Christ. If you stay at home, you are still a part of the Body of Christ. But God has a plan for each of us and a place for us to serve in some way. Being it is His body and He wants you be in the right place He will guide you if you ask Him. With all of that out of the way here is a link to a site that we have built to help you find a local church:

www.churchfinder.us

Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org