I was out on my Friday walk this week chatting with Jesus when I found myself getting quite stirred up about the local church, so today I wanted to take a brief break from our values series of posts and talk a bit about Christ’s wonderful bride.
As I was praying I was reminded of how for many years now there has been an important emphasis on the church not being a building but being a people who, as the apostle Peter puts it, “like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).
However it struck me that the pendulum swing can sometimes go too far the other way. This vital message of the church being people not a place can sometimes get hijacked by our culture’s obsession with individuality.
Sadly either through life’s circumstances or unhelpful theology there are those who would have decided that they want Christ but not so much his bride.
But the thing is the bible doesn’t simply talk about the church global or as being made up of people in some individualistic way, instead it talks of us being in community together, it talks of local churches which have structure with Elders who oversee a specific group of people and deacons who serve this community (1 Tim 3). It talks of this great bride gathering together to worship her bridegroom and even encourages us not to stop meeting together (Hebrews 10:25).
Far from being isolated individuals the picture that scripture paints is of a community on mission together as a unit (see our last post on being a Relational Community for more on this).
We’re in the early days as a church plant and there’s not many of us yet and for now Hope Community Church is like a little stalk peeping out through the soil. We’re committed however to not simply being a few Christians who happen to meet up. We’re committed to building local church and creating a biblical community to impact east Kent with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. To be honest I’ve no idea how anyone could hope to fulfill the great commission (or any of what Jesus calls his people to do) outside of the local church!
For this to happen we’re calling upon God to add more living stones to this expression of his bride who will become labourers in his harvest and bring many more into a saving relationship with him.
So here’s the challenge: maybe that’s you, maybe God is calling you to join us in building Hope Community Church. Maybe he’s not and that’s fine, he has other plans for you too. But if you feel stirred in anyway to get involved then please drop us a message either on Facebook at welcometohope or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, we look forward to hearing from you.