My first role serving on a church staff began 28 years ago when I was an intern at a church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since then, there have been multiple times when I’ve had serious questions about my involvement in local churches. Questions about those I work with. Questions about the members of the church. Internal questions—“Am I just wasting my time? Is the local church worth it?”
As a pastor, I know I’m not supposed to ask those types of questions. But if I’m honest, I must admit they have crossed my mind. And I’m sure they have crossed your mind, as well.
All of us who have been involved with the church have frustrations and disappointments. There’s no denying it—Christians can be frustrating people!
But again and again over the years, the Lord has answered my questions with a resounding: “Yes, the local church is worth the effort!”
I’ve met remarkable people in the church over the years. People who have loved me and challenged me—people God has used to mold me into the man I am today. The pastor of that church in Chattanooga used to say, “The church is God’s vehicle for social change.”
Over the years, I’ve seen that to be true. And I would add that the church is also God’s vehicle for personal change. The Lord does sometimes work in miraculous ways outside the organized church, but most often, His “tool” for personal and social change is the local body of Christ.
This month, we’re starting a new sermon series at New City, the church I pastor in Shepherds Bush, London. We’re also holding membership classes. The sermon series will look at biblical teaching on the church while the classes will dig a little deeper into who we are at New City Church.
My prayer is that God will bind us together as the body of Christ in a renewed way over the coming weeks. Specifically, the sermons and classes will be leading us to a Sunday in early October when a group of us will take vows together as New City Church.
Is the local church worth the effort? YES!!! And let’s all thank the Lord for His commitment to gathering His people together for His purposes in this world.
How have you seen the local church act as “God’s vehicle for social change”? How has the local church impacted your life? How has God shown you that local church is worth the effort?
This post was adapted from an original post on chrishatch.org Used here with permission.
Photo by Natalie Hughes, Serge Apprentice at New City in Shepherds Bush.