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 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. However, they were specific in the purpose of the church. The church is to share the hope of the world with our mouth, hands and feet. God has given us all specific gifts to use in sharing the Gospel and caring for the world around us. It’s also important that we gather as a local church body so we can learn, love and encourage other believers where we live. 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.
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As you are at the dinner table pull out the handout all the kids got this week with the questions, answers and verses that teach what we believe about the church. Ask them 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. Talk through each of the answers and, if you want a challenge, work together as a family to memorize the verses that go along with each question.
As you are driving, challenge your kids to point out as many church buildings as they can see on the way to your destination. Ask them what they were made of and how they were built. Ask if they think God cares more about what the churches look like or about the people inside. Why? Remind them about Ephesians 2:19-20, that no matter what we look like on the outside, we are to be built on Jesus, our firm foundation that never changes, and God’s Word which is true now, then and forever!
As you are putting your family down for bed, read them the story about the early church from Acts 2:42-47. Ask your kids what they think it was like to be a part of the early church. What challenges do they think the early church had but, also, what were some of the amazing things they got to be a part of and see? Talk about some of the ways church today is different and similar to the early church. Remind them that even though some things are very different today, we are all part of God’s family when we have faith in Jesus!
As you are sending your family off for the day, think of unique ways each person was created. Encourage them by letting them know how you’ve seen God give them unique gifts, and challenge them to use those gifts for God today. Read Colossians 3:16-17 to them and encourage them with all the ways they can share the hope of the world, Jesus, with others today.
God, thank You for the body of Christ. I pray that you help me to use the gifts that you have given me to love and encourage the Church. Please use me as Your mouth, hands and feet to share the hope of the world to grow Your Church body. Thank You that you don't ask me to do this alone. Amen.
Next week we will begin the month of June with the Godly characteristic of CONTENTMENT. We will learn about how Jesus was content because God was his provider.
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