Church is the First Stop

Church is the First Stop

Posted by Regi Campbell on November 21, 2019

I don’t know anyone who is totally satisfied with their church. People who go to a large church want the warmth and connection of a smaller one. Others are trapped in smaller churches and hungry for the music, programs, and preaching of bigger ones. Go to a seeker church, and it doesn’t go deep enough. Go to a traditional church, and it’s a holy huddle with little connection to those who don’t know Jesus.

So . . . what to do?

I remember having a conversation with a guy who was so into the Bible and Bible study, I could almost smell the leather on his breath. He was even taking courses at a local seminary. But since he was only auditing the courses, he couldn’t ask questions of the professors. As far as I could tell, he wasn’t involved in any real relationships. So, his biblical knowledge was going into his head and gathering dust.

Being a disciple (and a disciple-maker) involves wrestling with the Scriptures, not just reading them. Yes, we read and study to get the raw material (i.e., the truth of God’s Word) as our baseline. But raw material is just that. It’s not a finished product. But we need circumstances and opportunities to apply this truth, test our understandings, and give God the opportunity to “make known the path of life.”

Our call to make disciples means growing and helping others grow, and that requires us to engage with people. With other like-hearted Jesus-followers who have experience walking with God. With others who are trying to gain an understanding of biblical truth. With others who are walking with Him and care enough to help you learn as they learn themselves.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not dissing Bible study. Just pointing out that people are the catalyst for God to show up and bring His word alive. And connection to people is a necessary step to make your faith real and useful in the world. No one ever gets fixed, but we can mature in community.

Church is the first stop. It’s where these two elements come together. Biblical truth and people to apply it to, see it in, and share it with.

Scripture: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Comment here.

Responses (4)

Alan Salls
Alan Salls Posted: November 21, 2019, 9:04 am

“Church is the first step.”
Being in a Small Group is the second.
Great post, Regi!
Be blessed!

Brent Posted: November 21, 2019, 9:21 am

Truth! Great points. Thank you.

TODD A JOHNSON Posted: November 21, 2019, 9:28 am

Key words needing definition:

“Church” is the first stop. How do we define this in our lives.

Also, the comment “people are the catalyst for God to show up and bring His word alive. ” is thought provoking. I will need to test that one out for a few days in Scripture and prayer.

I am not outwardly disagreeing, but questioning that statement right now.

Thanks for sharing.

Larry K Lonadier
Larry K Lonadier Posted: November 23, 2019, 3:48 pm

I agree with you conceptually that discipleship is both very personal & very public with others. It has to be both; private to have something to contribute and public to gain from others contributions in service based relationships, what’s good for those others. Not to be overly technical but the word “church” today doesn’t carry the intended purpose as when Jesus used it or the early disciples because for the most part the American church doesn’t function as Jesus intended. Sounds critical I know but reality is reality. The same could be said for the term disciple, I wonder how many understand what that means from Jesus’ perspective since it is His term for His followers? So in today’s christian culture community is a better word to describe what gathering together is to look like and I think would, in our culture better communicate the picture it is intended to be. I have been a christian for 41 years and was lost in the church system for 35+ of those years. I have met very few who were really Christlike (the intended outcome of a discipleship relationship to Jesus) though I have met many who were well versed, nice, served in several capacities etc. Just my thoughts

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