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What is the Significance of the Church

Updated: 6 days ago






Jared Crowley:

I feel like this is an easy question, but I feel like maybe it's become a difficult question and in our culture for some people, so maybe it's a deceptively simple answer, but what would you say is the significance of the church for the modern believer?


Pastor David:

I would agree. It's probably feels complex but I don't think it changes.The significance of the church for the believer has never changed. Hebrews actually commands us. It's not a command - it's more of a pleading, a beseeching. "Don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together." And then he gives us this little addendum to that "as the manner of some is and so much more so as you see the day approaching". In other words, there is a constant struggle about the value of the church. He sees it within the context of the church. And so there'll be people because they don't see its value that will say it's not necessary. And then he'll say, but it's even more necessary as the day, which is of course the coming of the Lord, as in the end of times is coming. It's going to become more valuable. More important. What is it that makes the church valuable to the believer? Well first of all, its community. Just the community of people. And so let's understand that the church is gathering of the collective of the people of God. That's the church.


Pastor David:

We've tend to institutionalize it. I understand how we've done that. I understand that in some ways it is, but at its essence at its core, the church is the gathering, the assembling of believers. So, so it's not the church, unless two or three are gathered in His name. So there's this sense of we're in community and it's not just that we're hanging out there's intentionality. And there's purpose. So the intentionality and purpose of the gathering, the collective is that we, first of all, glorify magnify and celebrate Jesus. Secondly, that we learn, grow in our relationship with God, through our study of his Word. A third component that makes that community so important is just that collectibility, shared experience, witness and testimony.


Pastor David:

Power of prayer. All of this stuff helps make us believers. So the question would be, can you be a true disciple of Jesus independent of the body of Christ? And I would suggest there's nothing in scriptures that supports it. And I would also say that you cannot do it in a healthy manner. There's people that have done that: I don't need church. I don't need people. Just, me and God are doing our thing. Great. But you don't have their iron sharpening, your iron. You don't have accountability. You don't have correction. You don't have encouragement. You don't have all these components and the body of Christ is just that.


How does Jesus manifest himself in the earth? Not just to the earth and to those that don't know him. How's he do it? Through his body. Well guess what his body is? You and you and you and you and you and you and you. So I can't even really get a full perspective of who Jesus is independent of the church. So it's a great question. I think it's a relevant one, specifically, based on the culture. I think there was maybe as soon as five years ago, maybe even further, there was this real idea of, Hey, let's downsize. Let's just do church on our own. I don't need anybody. I can just get what I need, but that that's just consumerism. That's not community. The church is not consumerism.


Pastor David:

The church is community. But I would say that there's been a movement. At least in, in my observation, there's been a movement of people that are understanding the value of that community. They're starting to let go of some of the baggage that's been associated with it. I would say the baggage is related to expectations. Because we begin to develop this expectation. Well, if you go to church, we expect those people to be perfect. We expect those things, those people to always do it. They're starting to understand that community and fellowship and relationship can be messy. It's not always congruent with everything. We sometimes fall short of the glory of God. These things happen. But if we understand grace and we understand love, we understand the principles of fellowship, then we understand we're still better together than we are independent. And that's why Jesus said you got the 99, you know, talking about the one and the shepherd going after the one, for what purpose?If God wanted us to be alone, the shepherd wouldn't go after the one. The shepherd went after the one to bring him back into the fellowship.


Pastor David:

So it's the heart of Jesus. It is the command to the church. You cannot really grow as a true disciple of Christ without it. And there's amazing benefit to your personal life. It is as well to the magnification of the graces and gifts that God's placed in your life for the sake of others. How would you ever be able to really assimilate that If you didn't have an environment that would encourage it? And that you could activate it. So the church does all of those things. So I think it's I think it's a great question and I think it's it's absolutely necessary and more necessary now than ever before.


Pastor David:

And so people could say, well, can I be a part of community or church and not being an institution and I think there is certainly room for that. I wouldn't tell somebody that's in a home church situation or a home group situation that they're missing God. But I definitely think that there are layers to community. And so you have the small group hyperconnected hyper interactive component of like what we call our Harvest Groups. Which are small church experiences. But then there's this real value of the gathering. And if you study Acts 2, it talks about the church meeting at two levels. It talks about the church going house to house breaking bread and it also talks about their gathering for worship and celebration and for the Word in the temple. So you see that even in the early church, their first response to the power of the holy spirit and the launch of the church activating in that century, that their response was to understand that the church is not one in the absence of the other. But it was the congruent for the function of both.


Pastor David:

So we need the corporate. We also need the small. They're both the church. So, and I think there's congruency when they see them as connected and not something independent.


Jared Crowley:

I agree. I think you miss out on the best parts of both, if you're just one doing one.


Pastor David:

And they both add. You are gonna find more inspiration. You're gonna find more kind of dynamic presence in the larger context usually. You're going to also in the larger context, you will also execute more. You can also get more things done at a community level. Not meaning that small things can't execute, dynamic things. They can, but you're just gonna find that the larger group has larger influence, larger resource, larger empowerment. But then there's the real value of the small that we shouldn't escape. Because you can hide in the big, but you can't hide the small.


Pastor David:

And so you need, you need both. And we believe that if you're gonna be a living growing disciple, you need to be in a small group. You need to be serving in the larger context of the church. And you need to be giving and growing and serving and all of that is a part of growing in your relationship with Christ


Pastor David:

Good question.


Jared Crowley:

Great answer man.


Pastor David:

Yeah, it's what I do.


Jared Crowley:

No, I think that's so good. I think you, you have to be pouring into the church no matter what level you're engaging it at.


Pastor David:

I think that's the mistake we made when we institutionalized the church; it's about what is the church doing for me? And there is a component of that. But we don't get it until we understand the give and take. We understand I'm not just here to receive, I'm here to give. I'm here to release something. I'm here to encourage, I'm here to bless. I'm here to help. I'm here to serve. I'm here to continue the ongoing mission of the body of Christ. And and if I just make the church about whats it doing for me. You're never gonna grow. I mean there's times when that matters and it's super important. But if that is the whole of your Christian experience . You're gonna feel, you're gonna be really not very happy as believer. You're not gonna feel fulfilled as a believer either. So I encourage both. I encourage you doing both. Just like we need the large and the small we need the given the take.


Jared Crowley:

I always use the example of the Dead Sea. I love how God ties everything together with how things work in science and nature and stuff. Because a body of water that doesn't have an output just grows bacteria and it's unhealthy


Pastor David:

And nothing can exist in it.


Jared Crowley:

And we are made up of a lot of water just physically our body's alone.


Pastor David:

And if stuff's only going in and I'm not releasing anything, I become a stagnant pool,


Jared Crowley:

So great answer, man. Super appreciate you as always appreciate your perspective. We appreciate you guys. We really view this as a resource. So treat it that same way. You know, this isn't like a, a program that we put on for entertainment purposes alone. This really is designed to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus and the people around you. So liking, sharing, subscribing all those things really help boost it and get it out there and we'll see you next week.


Pastor David:

Awesome.


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