What’s The Deal With Church?

As a Christian, you are meant to be in close relationship with the church. When you became a Christian, one of the first things to happen was you were placed in the church. The church, in its original design, is meant to be a family, a lifeline, a place of healing, of challenge; and of growth for you. It is also a place for you to connect with God’s mission for your life.
With all these things in mind – how do we deepen our connection with the church? I want to give you two quick suggestions.

  1. Get Involved.

Sometimes we think that the bulk of our Christian growth will occur when we come to church on Sunday mornings. This is actually not true. Sure Sunday mornings are great and can help us grow – the reality is – much of our transformation with God happens Sunday afternoon to Saturday night. It happens in the context of relationships. Getting involved at church gives us opportunities to keep learning – to get to know other believers and let them in to our lives – and to use the gifts God has given us! So how do I get involved?

  • Small groups.  I highly suggest getting into a small group.  This is where the church is actually MOST powerful. You learn, you get known, you get challenged. Small groups are amazing. At the beginning of next year we are beginning a new small group approach called: “Next Step Groups.” I will tell you more about it in the weeks to come – but these groups have potential to be Very powerful!  Maybe you could be a part of a small group – or host one?
  • Volunteer. Did you know that church volunteerism is at an all time low all over the country? This is a shame for two reasons – 1) The church needs help and 2) If we don’t volunteer we don’t use our spiritual giftedness and we miss out on a huge blessed part of being a Christian. As a church we have many areas of need – children’s, youth, worship, maintenance, sound team, prayer warriors, visitation experts, and much more.  The question is this?

What interests and passions has God put upon my heart? 
How do I use these things to bless the church?

Those gifts, those passions weren’t placed there on accident. God has wired you this way for a specific purpose. Volunteer and see how He uses you to do eternal things!

  • Other events and outreaches…. Many times at church, we have events to build community – to do outreaches, or to simply help us grow as Christians. Consider coming to some of this stuff. It really helps you get to know people and can enrich your experience.

2. Get Open.
I think often times the church is simply not able to be THE CHURCH because it’s a closed space. We try to protect ourselves because we’ve been hurt – but in the end we protect ourselves from the very thing that heals us – others. In the church – we are experts at being together but alone. I want to suggest two questions that you can ask each other that can change the way we do life together… These are questions that are key to healing and transformation – and yet we rarely ask them. I think we as a church need to get these questions into our rotation. Are you ready?  Here they are:

  1. What is God showing you….? What is God doing in your life? Where is He leading you?
  2. ….And what are you going to do about it? What’s the next step. Now you see God doing some stuff in you, what are you going to do in response?

These two questions can literally change the way we relate to each other and they can ultimately be a source of deep community and healing for each other. This is real stuff here. These questions help open us up. But they are risky. We need to be willing to go deep. If we do open up – the church can become a place unlike anywhere else in the world. It can become…The Kingdom of God coming to life in our midst!
I’d like to invite you to consider these things with me this week. May you be blessed to see, be reminded, and experience God’s love and mercy freely given to you every moment of every day!

Pastor Ryan



Know Jesus Better

Philippians 3:7-11 “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
I want to invite you to take some time this week and let these scriptures wash over you. In addition to this – would you be willing to pray for our church: — That God would give us wisdom and spiritual understanding through His Spirit – so that we, as a church, might KNOW HIM BETTER — That God would open our eyes to the great hope of HIS glorious inheritance. We live in this incredible hope every moment of every day. — Finally that God would open our eyes to His incomparably great power for us who believe!!!! I believe these three prayers can revolutionize our church. Please join me in praying these prayers as we look forward to what God has in store for us this year!
May God bless you!
Pastor Ryan
P.S. Every Sermon series we do; depending on its length – may have 1-4 theme songs. These are songs that accompany what we will be talking about and seem to embody what we are studying. The two songs we have introduced for Ephesians (and it’s likely we will have 1-2 others in the near future) are: “This I Believe (The Creed)”- By Hillsong Live and “We are the Free” – By Matt Redman. If you’d like to hear them again – in their original form; please click on the following youtube links. They are also on itunes should you wish to purchase them for a measly $1.29 each! We Are The Free – Matt Redman This I Believe (The Creed)- Hillsong Live