This Sunday at South Side we will continue our sermon series entitled “Rethinking The Church.” The Church is so much more than attending a worship service. It’s so much more than giving in the offering.
The Church is about connecting with a community of Christ-followers to pursue a common goal: being like Jesus and doing what Jesus said to do. That’s real, authentic, original, unchanged, unaltered, unfiltered, God given Christianity! The church is meant to care for each other, grow together, and reach the world together!
I believe that we live in a culture that desperately needs the church’s impact. The church is literally the last line of defense for morality which stands against evil within this world. However, we can’t change the world if we are living just like it! God cannot be the source of your strength if the world is the source of your standards!
This is one of many reasons we are talking about “Rethinking The Church.” In our culture, so many people understand the church as a building. However, that is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of church is not that of a building, but of people.
It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says, “Greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers. It’s clear throughout the New Testament that the church is one body made up of many parts. One part is not the church alone, but the body when it is together is the church. If you’d like to study that further just read 1 Corinthians 12.
This Sunday at South Side we are going to talk about how each individual part of the body has the power to overcome challenges, impact the entire body, and impact our culture. In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul is in prison. From the outside looking in, things looked dim. I’m sure many other believers felt as though his impact for Christ on the church and the culture was about to be over. However, we read these words in Philippians 1:12-14 from Paul, “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
We find out in this passage and in chapter 4 of Philippians that God let Paul go to prison so He could set others free from their sins. Paul being a prisoner led to a ministry to the palace guard of Nero, and some of these soldiers came to Christ, which never would have happened if he hadn’t become a prisoner. He never would have crossed their path had he not been arrested. You see rather than whining, complaining, grumbling, or seeing his challenge as just opposition, Paul saw it as an opportunity! He had the power to overcome the challenge, impact the body, and impact the culture even when He was locked up. Imagine what you can do with your freedom!
I want to thank you for reading today’s article. I hope in some way it blesses your soul. This Sunday at South Side I will share week 2 of our new series entitled “Rethinking The Church.” Our onsite worship starts at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you are unable to attend our online services will be available at 3 on Facebook and our website. If you would like to give generously just text the word “help” to 84321 and follow the simple instructions. We would love to have you and your family worship with us! For more information visit us on our website at www.southsidewch.com or on Facebook.