Not just about my church

By Gilbert Owens - Guest columnist

The Church is the only representative of Jesus Christ on the earth. The church is called the Body of Christ because it is to do the work of Jesus Christ as He sits at the right hand of God in heaven. The Body of Christ is composed of individuals who serve as Christ’s hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes, hears, mouth and way of thinking. Every individual is important to the work of Christ’s Body. Every individual should belong to a local church where they can grow in order to be of better use by Jesus Christ.

If an individual is not growing from faith to faith and from glory to glory, then more than likely, that individual is in the wrong church and their ability to be used more by Christ has been stunted. Growing from faith to faith means you are becoming more knowledgeable in the truth of God’s Word, which automatically causes your faith to be substantially enhanced. Enhanced faith causes an individual to do great things for the Lord and for others.

Growing from faith to faith is a prerequisite to growing from glory to glory. Growing from glory to glory means an individual is bringing and displaying more glory to God as a result of serving Jesus Christ in their family, community and local church. As a believer grows, his/her life becomes more about Christ than themselves.

Christ has given every believer many avenues whereby they can grow from faith to faith and from glory to glory. Your local church is just one of those avenues. One of the main reasons why many believers are not growing is because they have been convinced or brainwashed into thinking they can get all of the necessary ingredients they need to grow from their home local church. Many from the pulpit teach their congregants they can only be feed from one table, meaning their local church. That is far from the truth.

Every believer should be loyal to their local church, while at the same time making it a habit to attend other churches on a somewhat consistent basis. Every believer should consistently attend more than one bible study per week or month that is not being conducted at their home church. I personally conduct Bible Study on Tuesday nights to encourage my congregants to attend other Bible Study Lessons on Wednesday or Thursday nights. I use the same reasoning for have Worship Services on the First and Third Sundays. When a church or Pastor is not concerned with just money and maintaining control they will encourage their members to do the same.

No one church or Pastor has all of the answers a believer may be searching for. And no believer can truly grow by seeing the same congregation, hearing the same style of singing, hearing the same preacher or teacher, week after week, month after month and year after year. In the end, your typical believer becomes too comfortable at their local church and uncomfortable around other believers. In the end, a believer who only goes to one place all of the time learns how to hide in their weaknesses and sins. Even more sadly, your typical believer, unbeknownst to them, falls into the trap of trying to please their Pastor, more than pleasing the Lord. In the end, you become of less use to the Lord.

A believer should always be evaluating their walk and relationship with Christ. They should ask themselves on a consistent basis some important questions. Am I growing in my inner man? Do I know more of God’s word than I did last year? Am I doing more in my local church than I did last year? Am I learning more about me than I use to? Have I been motivated and encouraged to pray more, study more and witness more? Am I working my spiritual gifts in this church? Am I hearing the Lord speak to me more? Am I truly growing from faith to faith and from glory to Glory? If you are not satisfied with your honest answers, then perhaps it is time to spread your wings and experience from time to time what other believers are doing and experiencing. There is no suggestion here for you to leave your local church, but maybe you will realize, its not just about my church!

By Gilbert Owens

Guest columnist
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