How Do You Build a Church Like Ours?

Our small church has been blessed recently with a number of positive things. Our average attendance has gradually increased over the last few years, but numerical growth is just one way we’ve grown. Our influence in the world has also increased thanks to our adoption of Brookside Elementary and our partnership with a couple of other churches to support a young church in Cuba.

         Anyone should be able to see that there’s a lot going on at our church, in our community, and even in the world, but even with exciting things like these there’s still one more way in which we’re growing – we’re growing closer together. At our church we like to say “We’re not just friendly, we’re family.” I’ve seen it over the few years my wife and I have been members at NCoC. Relationships are being strengthened, new friendships formed, and just about everyone seems to be getting closer to one person or another.

         One Sunday evening we were downstairs for small group and we finished a few minutes earlier than usual. Everyone was encouraged to stay and chat and enjoy some snacks. For about another 15 minutes nobody left – everyone stayed and talked with someone else. I was getting a drink when one gentleman walked past and said “This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? This is what it’s all about.”

         What he meant was pretty clear to me because he and I have talked several times in the past about the importance of building relationships within the church. For him, to see so many there choosing to stay later on a Sunday night, that was the fruit of all the relationship-building preaching and teaching Garrett and I do on a regular basis. 

         I don’t think it’s by accident that Paul and others address their audiences as “brothers and sisters.” The idea is that when you become a Christian you aren’t just joining a religious organization or even a particular congregation – you are joining a new family, God’s family! One way we can see God’s family is at the congregational level, but our churches need to remind us – and maybe we need to remind our churches – that we are part of something that is so much bigger than just the 100 or so people who worship with us on Sunday mornings in our building. We are part of a family that spans the globe.

         To wrap up, I want to take another look at a couple of things I mentioned earlier, adopting Brookside and helping a small church in Cuba. I mentioned how our influence for the Gospel is growing because of our partnership with these two groups. But let me put it into a little perspective: I don’t think our church would be able to work with these groups, especially Brookside, if we together as a church hadn’t been faithful to the mission God has given us – to reach up to God and out to others. Individuals have different gifts, but no single person can fulfill such an extraordinary calling, no one preacher, elder, Sunday school teacher, adult or child; it’s a group effort. God’s work in our lives always affects us individually and communally.

         So, how do you build a church like ours? We let God work His will by bringing us all closer together and closer to Christ. The body of Christ has many parts and we need the whole body whole to be the whole body. To put it simply, you build a church like ours one godly relationship at a time

One Response to “How Do You Build a Church Like Ours?”

  1. Jocelyne Browning says:

    Well said Kevin! So true!

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