Being part of a church is one of the strangest and most wonderful parts of life. Let me just start out by saying, I didn’t’ always grow up saying things like, “Hey man, y’know what’s great? Being part of a church.” But when Jesus got ahold of me, he started working on me, and building me into this amazing group of people I get to call my spiritual family.
Here’s what I love so much about the church: the church is God’s way of inviting us into something greater than ourselves. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? To be part of something bigger than us? Something that will outlive us and make a transforming difference in the world? That’s a basic human longing that all of us feel, whether we realize it or not.
When an individual is saved, they’re saved out of our sinful condition and into the family of God. The church is not a building, it’s a community who lives life together and has a shared goal to glorify God. How exactly do we do that? Well, long story short, it can get messy, but every family gets messy sometimes. When our family is oriented around Jesus, he can meet us in any mess, and heal and restore.
When the church is at its best, we all bring our gifts and talents and use them for God’s glory. Something amazing happens when the people of God come together. Suddenly, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
This is where our culture and God’s plan are in collision. You see, we live in individualistic culture that tells us, “If you’re looking for purpose, just remember that you’re unique, and you’re all you need.”
Meanwhile, the God who made us is constantly reminding us, “You are uniquely gifted, but you’ll discover your purpose when you use your gifts for something greater than yourself.”
I love watching this happen at Crossroads Community Church, where I am blessed to be one of the pastors. I get to see God use people with unique giftings, which are totally different than mine.
At Crossroads, we have an amazing staff of pastors, and I get the pleasure of watching God use them in extraordinary ways. I can celebrate that. I don’t have to have all the gifts, and I know that, but I am surrounded by a group of people, and together, our gifts collide and bring glory to God.
All these incredible people bring their gifts to the table. Right about now, you might be thinking about your own gifts, what they are, and how they might fit into God’s glorious family. The first thing you need to know is that you have gifts. God placed them inside you, and your gifts need to find a home within the local church.
So what church are you a part of? How can you use your natural gifts and talents within your community? Celebrate the gifts God gave you by using to bless someone else. Every day God offers us the invitation to get outside of ourselves and use our gifts for God’s glory.