The church is your family
Our ministry was doing a great job of teaching people how to get in the Word and share their faith.
We had great tools for spiritual disciplines, but we didn’t have any tools to help students understand the importance of the local church.
We want to develop people who will not just be committed to a para-church ministry for four years, but will embed themselves in the body of Christ for the rest of their lives.
In Galatians 6:10, the church is described as a F.A.M.I.L.Y.—we’ve been able to use this acronym to convey the need for students to plug into a church during their time with our ministry and after graduation.
Find a church that is “Founded on the Word.”
This should be a priority for finding a church to plug into.
Does the pastor use stories and illustrations to describe the main points of the biblical text, or does he use the Bible to illustrate his own made up points and topics?
It’s very important to find a church that uses their resources to point people to the Word and not the other way around.
Realize the church has “Authority from Christ.”
In Matthew 18, Christ describes the authority the church has even in the discipline of its members.
In Hebrews 17:17, we are commanded to obey our leaders and submit to them because they keep watch over our souls.
Romans 13 reminds us that God has sovereignly placed authorities over us. Your leaders weren’t chosen by a committee, they were chosen by God. Let that sink in.
God is sovereign. That means He decides who is in control. He decides who leads. He has placed the leaders in your churches for your benefit. Let them lead.
Every parent knows that their children will try to do things that will hurt them.
They want to eat things they shouldn’t, play with dangerous things, and take the dangerous things they are playing with and put them in their eyes.
They get angry at their parents when the parents stop them from potentially hurting themselves.
It’s the same way in the church – your leaders watch out for you as people who give an account. They want to protect and serve you. Trust God, that He has them over you for a reason.
We are commanded to “Meet regularly.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 warns against irregular church involvement.
Church meetings are family meetings. Followers of Christ are not fringe people, they are family. See yourself as part of a family, not an organization.
You will always be a part of your biological family no matter what. You can claim to disown them, but you will always be related by blood.
In the same way, a follower of Christ should see themselves as tied off to a local body of believers.
They are a part of a family through good times and bad.
The mark of a strong family is not what happens when times are good, but how they pull together and remain committed when times are bad.
“Invest in each other.”
Romans 12:5 tells us we form one body and each member belongs to one another.
2 Timothy 2 encourages people to invest in others while Titus 2 encourages older women to teach the younger.
We should seek to invest in others within our church and seek out people who will invest in us.
Colossians 3 describes how the church should live together.
They should not lie to one another (v. 9), they should bear with one another and forgive complaints against each other (v. 13), and put on love towards one another (v. 14).
We should let other believers help us fight sin by confessing to them (James 5:16).
We should weep with those who are weeping, and rejoice with those who are rejoicing (Romans 12:15).
“Yield willingly” to others in our church.
Philippians 2:3-4 tells us to look towards the interests of others.
Romans 12:10 tells us to outdo one another in showing honor.
We should yield to one another when the Spirit uses others to convict us of sin. We should bear with and yield to believers with more strict convictions (Romans 14).
Following Christ is more than a personal and individual commitment. It is also committing to the community of people He died for.
When we help people follow Jesus, we must help them also learn what it means to be a part of this new church family He has graciously given us.
This tool has helped us start conversations with students leading to practical steps in making the church more than a once a week event.