“Jesus said…By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35, NIV).
Take a look at the pictures of all the new members that have recently joined our church family. Are they not beautiful? We are now family. All 34 new members and the 20 children that are a part of their families have become one of us since last January.
The Bible is all about connection --
· the 3-person God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit
· the importance of personal relationships and interaction in Jesus’ ministry
· individual members joined into the unity of the Body of Christ
· spiritual gifts given to every believer for the benefit of the congregation
· the continued command throughout the Bible to love
· the fellowship of a congregation used as a template for married life
· church fellowship as the most enduring human relationship.
As the Plumb Line Team continues to work to help us know what we as a church family are thinking and hoping, we are finding out that the two most compelling aspects of our church life are --
2. Knowing and applying the Word of God
It appears one of the most vital areas of being a Christ-follower is to be in relationship with other Christ-followers. Over the past five years we have been very focused on recapturing the Bible’s vision for the church. We want to build a strong church for the future that can come to terms with our anxious, busy, and noisy lives. We want both the people that are coming to our church family and those that are already here to experience a God-ward life.
We continue to initiate opportunities for relationships to grow. We want more times and places for people to get to know each other and the Bible. We soon will be starting Lenten community groups. We want our children, our youth and our adults to hear what God is saying through our lives.
There is no other human institution that was built for adversity, challenge and intimacy than the church. It is where grace and truth stand and heaven and earth meet. It is where ugliness and beauty, contradiction and wholeness converge. It is THE place and people where we can deal with being known.
The church promotes our humanity and develops relationships like none other. From birth to death, across the cultures of the world, over two thousand years and going, we are God’s instrument of eternal and daily hope. There is a lot of connecting going on! It is the vision for the church found throughout the New Testament.