In Matthew 16.18 Jesus himself said “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Think about that – the church is Jesus’ idea and His plan and has His promise of divine protection and guaranteed victory against hell.
If you want to be in the place you can be confident of guaranteed victory against hell, then plug into and get planted into a church! Hebrews 10.25 says not to forsake or give up assembling together.
Now how we should assemble is the issue I want to think about today: because I believe a healthy church should provide 7 things for a Christian who assembles with them:
1. A place where they are inspired by a huge vision (Pro. 29.18)
2. A place where they can worship in unity (Eph. 5.18ff)
3. A place where they can be equipped by effective preaching (Eph. 4.11ff)
4. A place where they can be loved for who they are (John 13.34)
5. A place where they can serve both practically and spiritually (Php. 2.1-4, Acts. 20.35)
6. A place where they can be corrected if they are missing it (2 Tim. 3.16)
7. A place where they can be discipled and become a leader themselves (Matt. 28.19, Luke 6.39-40)
Most churches do not provide a healthy balance of all these elements.
Large theatre style churches provide 1-3, often based around 2 or 3. People will go to these churches just for the worship or the preacher. That’s fine for a season, but for real Christian growth you need more!
Family based or tribal based churches will provide 4, 5 and 6 – and if the face fits and you have the right surname will help you with 7.
Just watching a TV church might just provide 3, if it is the right preacher. But nothing else.
Most traditional churches will provide 2, 4 and 5.
But a healthy growing church must concentrate on supplying all 7. Whether any given individual will receive all 7 is their choice (people are as integral to a healthy church as they choose to be), but the church should be providing them.
As far as I can see, the only way to provide all seven is by having two very different church gatherings each week. The Celebration Church provides 1-3, the Living Church meets in houses in the week and provides 4-7.
Your destiny is to be a powerhouse, a person of influence, a changer of nations, a healer of the sick, a destroyer of the devil, a discipler of nations. Where you go to church is far too important to be left to chance, or habit, or geography. Find a church that will provide what you need and get integrated. Some people just want a worship service but I am committed to providing for people who want to be world changers.