Encourage0gram September 15, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Philip Yancey wrote some wise words about “church community” in a recent Our Daily Bread devotional that I would like to quote:
“Community” is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives, says Henri Nouwen. Often, we surround ourselves with the people we most want to live with, which forms a club or a clique, not a community. Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.
The Christian church was the first institution in history to bring together on equal footing Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free. The apostle Paul waxed eloquent on this “mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God.” By forming a community out of diverse members, Paul said, we have the opportunity to capture the attention of the world and even the supernatural world beyond (Eph. 3:9–10).
In some ways the church has sadly failed in this assignment. Still, church is the one place I visit that brings together generations: infants still held in their mothers’ arms, children who squirm and giggle at all the wrong times, responsible adults who know how to act appropriately at all times, and those who may drift asleep if the preacher drones on too long.
If we want the community experience God is offering to us, we have reason to seek a congregation of people “not like us.”
These thoughts touched me in a profound way. The Church is the assembly of people that Jesus is building, not me. It is a community of diverse members who have one truth in common – we believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. As your pastor, I want each of you who are reading this to know that I love and respect you. I am privileged and called by God to serve as your pastor. I am blessed to serve with others on our staff who likewise love and pray for you. We honestly thank God that we serve our Lord with you, the community of believers at Fellowship Community Church!
We look forward to worshiping with you each week at worship serves, ABF classes, LIFE groups and many other service venues.
I conclude with the prayer listed in the Daily Bread on that day:
Lord, remind us that the church is Your work,
and You have brought us together for Your good purposes.
Help us extend grace to others.
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,