What does “church” mean to you? Is it defined by a location, a type of building, or a certain time? Jesus and the writers of the New Testament didn’t specify any of these things because church isn’t about when and where but about WHO. The church isn’t a building we come to once a week. The church is all people who have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul and other New Testament writers didn’t tell us what kind of songs to sing, if the building should have chairs or pews, or what kind of coffee to serve Sunday morning. God did use them to tell us that it is important that we gather as a local church body so we can encourage, serve, and learn with other believers where we live. They were specific in the purpose of the church. The church is to share the hope of the world with our words and actions. God has given us specific gifts we can use to share the gospel and care for the world around us. God doesn’t expect or even want us to do it alone. It’s when we all work together as the body of Christ that He is most glorified.
As you are at the dinner table pull out the handout the elementary kids received this week with the questions, answers, and verses that teach what we believe about the church. Ask your kids what they think of when they hear the word, “church.” What do they think the purpose of the church is? Is it important? Remind them that church isn’t the building we go to, but is the people who are saved by faith through Jesus Christ.
What is the purpose of the Church? (To share the hope of the world with our words and actions) Talk about all the places you’ll go this week. How can you share the hope of the world (the gospel) at any or all of those places? How can you use your words and actions to share that hope?
What is the Church? (All people who have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ) Thank God for the gift of other believers around you. Spend time praying for people you know who do not have a relationship with the Lord. Pray that they would hear the gospel (maybe from you!) and understand that Jesus died on the cross for them, and that they would become part of God’s family!
Why do we gather as a church body? (To encourage, serve, and learn with other believers where we live) Brainstorm fun ideas for encouraging, serving, and learning with others where you live. If they are believers, great! Use it as an opportunity to be the Church to them this week. If they are not believers, great! Use it as an opportunity to show them how awesome it is to be part of God’s family! You could encourage someone by writing them a note or serve them by helping with their yard work. You can even help them learn by teaching them what you learned this weekend!
Thank God for the gift of His people, the Church, and for the ability to gather freely with other believers where we live. Ask Him to help you share the hope of the world, Jesus, with your words and actions this week.
Next week we will begin learning about our next Godly character trait, PEACE. You can get a head start by looking up our memory verse for peace, John 14:27.
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