As a child my parents encouraged me to participate in a variety of sports and organizations. Swimming lessons and t-ball, along with backyard excursions with my neighbor Brett, were some of those childhood summer activities that kept my entire family on their toes. As I grew I continued to stay involved in a variety of organized activities. During high school I was a state officer for the Future Business Leaders of America, played basketball for the Graves County Eagles, and even attended a foreign language festival. Granted, my participation involved dancing the salsa because I wasn’t very good speaking Spanish. These memorable experiences were fun for me. However, they weren’t just fun; they were formative.
The Bible teaches that humans are made in the image of God and that we don’t do so well alone. We are social creatures who thrive in community. I have found community in teams and organizations during my formative years. I spent time with people who shared common purposes and goals. Like most teams and organizations, the church is a created community of people who share common purposes and goals. Unlike other teams and organizations, we believe that there is something particularly special about the church. As people of faith, we believe in a meta-narrative –a “big picture.” We believe that there is a God and that he is working within his creation. The scriptures give us glimpses into God’s story that include: creation, the fall, Israel, Jesus, and the church.
The church plays a critical role in God’s story. The church is a family connected through our mutual faith in Jesus and our commitment to following Him. Being a part of the church makes us a part of God’s redemptive story. The church isn’t perfect. She has made mistakes. She fails in her responsibilities quite often. In spite of the pain that the church has caused along the way, I maintain that Christ wants us to be active participants in church. After all, Christ launched this community that we call church. He gave His life for the church. He then commissioned the church to be his hands and feet in the world. What a joy it is to be a participant in God’s redemptive plan in the world! What joy it brings to be involved in His Church! I hope you share my enthusiasm, and I hope that you are committed to doing your part to aid in God’s story of redemption through your active commitment to the church.