So, what kind of church do you belong to? A growing church, or a dying church? Here at Summit, we have a wonderful staff. Our pastors are some of the best pastors I have ever served under. We have good teachers, and dedicated volunteers. God has blessed those efforts, but is it possible for those blessings to become a negative for our church?
We come on Sunday, and Sunday by Sunday, our preachers, our teachers, our workers, and our musicians, they all present a wonderful program. Each Sunday we come and enjoy it and then go home and wait for the next service, and then we come and enjoy that and then we go home. The problem with a successful church, actually with any church, is that there are a few people working very hard, but a large part of the congregation does not share the load. They don’t become a part. They are in danger of becoming a congregation of spectators. They see the blessings, but they fail to remember the real purpose of a church, which is to be a hospital for souls. They forget that there are so many people in our church, and in our community, who need Jesus. There are so many who are hurting, so many who do not enjoy the blessings, the friendship, the warmth, and the love, that we enjoy. We need to ask ourselves, "How can we change this in our church, and how can we reach out to this community?" What is the message that we want to share?
One of the most important things that a person needs is a feeling of belonging. Well, belonging to what? Belonging to a family of friends who cares for them. Are we a family of friends? If we are to reach out to others and invite them into our family, then we must first be a family of friends.
A church that loves Jesus Christ is to be a family. You say, "Well, Bro. Keith, I live alone." That's all the more reason you need a church family because we are your extended family. And whether you have a great big family sitting around your dinner table or whether you live by yourself in an apartment, or in a room somewhere, your church is to be family. But it is more than family. It's friendship. And the two longings that people have in our world today are, for family, or a sense of belonging, and for friendship, or a sense of caring.
Each week you are given an opportunity to invite people who need Jesus to come and be a part of the family. But how many of you invite those people? Many of you have done that. We have been blessed by those that have come. But the fact that you invited them will only get people in the doors of the church. What they find inside the church is what matters. Do they find a family of friends who will welcome them into their family?
Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” It is not optional, we have a duty, an obligation, a privilege to love others as Jesus loves us.
Click on the link below to hear a message on what it takes to be a friend and to have a friend. To be a family of friends.