by Stan Mitchell
You have moved into a new community and you are looking for a church home. You may or may not have been a member of the church of Christ in your previous hometown. Why should you join the local church of Christ?
Well, because we have the best music in town. And the most programs. And the most young people. And the best preacher. Especially the best preacher, right?
It seems to me that these reasons for joining a church are rather self-serving and shallow, to be honest. Both churches and prospective members are susceptible to the trap of looking for, and trying to be, the best at these things.
I am sure that someone else in town will have a better preacher, bigger building, more programs, and perhaps friendlier members. But wasn’t there a time when people chose to serve in a church out of conviction?
With humility, yet urgently, I want to remind church members, and inform visitors of who we are.
- We exalt Jesus to the highest place (Philippians 2:9-11).
- No church hierarchy dims our view of Jesus as head of the church, and Lord of our lives.
- We wear his name proudly as individuals (“Christian”), and as a fellowship (Romans 16:16).
- We possess a deep respect for the Bible as God’s word (Matthew 24:35).
All the talk of “the Bible and the Bible alone” reflects this. From this pulpit you will hear the phrase, “please turn to…” and a Bible reference will be given. The Bible is our rule. It keeps us from going to the left or the right and away from God’s will.
We couldn’t, in good conscience, face a community with anything less than God’s word.
- We proclaim the grace of Jesus, at the cross, for all who will come to him (Ephesians 2:8-10).
- We immerse believers for the forgiveness of sins (1 Peter 3:21).
Baptism saves us. This is not exclusivist. It’s what God’s Word says. Our insistence on partaking of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week, our understanding of the women’s role in the assembly, and our a cappella singing reflects this commitment.
We are not perfect. Our restoration of Biblical Christianity is a continuing discovery, not a prideful accomplishment.
The word of God is still more than adequate for a changing world.
Regardless of our human resources, our programs, or our public persona, these qualities are not inconsiderable. You may find a church with qualities that impress the eye and ear more.
But my invitation to you is this: Worship with us, and see if the qualities I have mentioned are not the ones that are needed to nourish the soul.