“The local church is the hope of the world.”
So famously declared Bill Hybels, founding and Lead Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church.
Do you agree?
I do, which is why I love the church.
I love the diversity: old and young, rich and poor, red and yellow, black and white, Republican and Democrat, even Duke and Carolina fans. The church is truly a little slice of heaven. I love that being part of a local church identifies you with a global fellowship: a movement, an organization, and yes, an institution, that has stood the test of time and stands strong after over two millenia.
I love both the universal, “big C” Church and the local, “little c” church. Yes, there are times when I dislike the church; my experience in ministry over the years has resulted in my fair share of hurts and disappointments.
But by God’s grace, I have never given up on the church as God’s chosen instrument for advancing His Kingdom. Back in Matthew 16, Jesus established his church and promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
If Jesus has that much confidence in the church — in the power of His followers united, of the potential of groups of sinful people coming together all over the world to do the work of His Kingdom — I’m thinking that’s something worth serving, sticking with, and sacrificing for.
Do you love the church?