How You and I Grow the Church pt 3 of 4
One of the most powerful influences in life is the power of association.Studies have shown that there is an uncanny statistical probability that our incomes roughly fall in the median area of the incomes of the 5 people outside our immediate families, that we spend the most time with!
Our thinking is also shaped by association, by the most frequent things that we watch or read, whether it is news, TV, videogames, or online websites, or the Bible. That last one seems a little incongruous with the others, doesnt it? But seriously, if you read the word of God, you are associating with God, and the Holy Spirit is connecting your Spirit to God's Spirit. Pretty Powerful I would say! 2 tim 3:16 says " All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking,correcting, training in righteousness," Useful... another word would be helpful. Helpful when confused, helpful when lost, helpful whenever life knocks you around. God is only a verse away in those moments, He is waiting to associate with you!
Another way we grow us, and grow the church, is to associate together. Hebrews 10:25 says, "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Sunday morning for an hour,and hearing a twenty minute sermon, is hardly sufficient for affecting lasting changes in our lives and thinking. Kind of like a "drive by shooting";the pastor shoots out some ideas and some scriptures, never knowing what or who was struck by them!
According to Barna research, the person that calls themselves "a committed Christian", attends an average of two Sunday's a month and a bible study one time per year. D.L.Moody would not allow the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" in his services because he said, " at the level of commitment of most people to their church, it would make for a poor army".
If there is a study group, a prayer group, a bible study, an age based group, etc meeting in the church, make time to associate; to learn about Christ, to learn about your brothers and sisters in the Lord, and mostly to learn about you. Your pastor prepares and wants to equip you to do life better. But you have to want to as well.
You will be enriched and blessed as you associate and you will grow personally and spiritually. You're either living and growing or gradually dying. What you feed grows and what you dont starves. That would apply to your physical life and it applies to your spiritual life as well.