I want My Church to become the church of others. My Family, My Neighbors, My Friends, My Co-Workers, really all My Acquaintances. I love the church God has called me to be a part of and I think it is a place others can benefit from in this world and the next! I pray daily for our church to be strong, vibrant, powerful in the Spirit and practical in meeting both spiritual & earthly needs. I desire for My Church to be a place that encourages, supports, instructs, stabilizes, and grounds people in the saving & sovereign Christ. "It is not enough that we get somebody in the church, but that the church gets in them." The Church is the Body of Christ, and it is Christ in us that makes all the difference.
The great Apostle Paul had the same thoughts and heart in this matter. He was so intense in sowing the gospel and planting churches and then getting people to assembly so as to grow them up in the faith.
"And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."—Acts 14:21–22
With that in mind let me share a few things that each of us can remember and apply when it comes to My People ( the people in my life) and My Church! Things we can practice to help confirm others in the faith.
1. My People Need To Be Saved At My Church!
To grow in the faith, one must first be saved. That seems so simple but it is so profound. I think in our churches we may foolishly spend time trying to grow people who have never entered in the faith. Just because someone came or is coming to church means that the Christ is in them. This is why it is so important to make a follow up visit of every visitor to our services with the main intent to ask them if they understand the gospel and have they been saved. Many times I have asked a visitor at the exit door ( in a kind & non threatening way ) specifically of their salvation. Many times after church or at the home visitation I have had the wonderful privilege to lead others to the saving knowledge of Christ.
2. My People Need To Have Assurance Of Salvation At My Church!
We need to take time to explain in detail that God's Salvation. That the new convert has been given eternal life and it can not be lost. That Satan will come and sow doubt in their minds and hearts. To be ready for such. Study with them 1st John 5:13 and John 10:28-29. Get them some study material on the subject. My Church has printed material for such.
3. My People Who Receive Christ Need To Be Baptized At My Church!
Make sure we take time to explain to them the very first thing God commands of His following believers, water baptism. Explain to them baptism , what it symbolizes and why it is so important in a believers growth. Again My Church supplies such material.
4. My People Who Receive Christ Need A Home Church And Perhaps It Is At My Church!
People need Christ and Christians need church. If Christians are going to grow they need a home church. They need to be encouraged a explained to why the Church is so important in their lives. They need a spiritual family, they need taught God's Word by gifted nd called pastors and teachers. They need to develop new habits of making the church of Jesus their hub of life.
5. My People Need Taken In By My Church!
If you want to encourage a new or nominal believer then invite them into your world. Invite them to your Sunday School Class, your small group, prayer group, to a meal and better yet to your home. If you meet a guest at church invite them to sit with you and encourage them to return again and share your pew. Introduce them to several of your other friends who are careful to include them as well in their world. Before long they will not be guests but FOREVER FRIENDS! God calls us to be hospitable ( 1st Timothy 3:2, Romans 13:12, 1st Peter 4:9) so lets work hard in this. I hear so many say they want friends so let me encourage you to hospitality and in time you will have more friends then you would have ever dreamed.
6. My People Need Friends At My Church!
They need people to be friendly but they need friendship desperately. Handshakes, glad you were heres, are great but they really need someone to come along side them and personally become involved in their life finding things in common, doing life together, developing relationships for Gods glory.
7. My People Need Cared And Thought About At My Church!
We need to work hard at knowing people. Knowing their names, where they live and work. Knowing their children. We need to know when they miss church for a few weeks. They need to receive a note from us, a call a visit. Some new Christians or new people to church are not at first faithful but with a little attention they can begin to develop new habits that bring them to faithfulness.
8. My People Need To Be Prayed For At My Church!
When we read the scriptures we find the early church leaders and church members praying for each other. And they prayed seriously and persistently for one another. The world and satan is sure to tempt each of us but those who are new to church are sure to receive a double dose of temptation. May we pray for them as they are being confirmed in God's church. And may we continue to pray for each and every person in My Church!
9. My People Need To Be Taught In Word And Deed At My Church!
New and mature Christians need discipleship. We need to study together as we learn of Christ. We also need to serve together as we learn of Christ. Discipleship is more than just being together it is a process of spiritual maturity. Learning God's word, will and way and then really learning it by practicing what He has said and willed. Much of God's discipleship takes place together in classes, assemblies, support, study , and service groups.
May each of us determine to identify who God is bringing into our lives as MY PEOPLE! so we can bring them to and into MY CHURCH for His glory and their good!