Bill Hybels, pastor of Willowcreek Church in Chicago, always says that 'the local church is the hope of the world.' First of all, what is the local church? The local church is not sitting in your pajamas watching TV church on Sunday morning. The local church is a physical gathering of Christ-followers. The local church is more than just attending a service but it becomes more about belonging to a family. A local church that is submitted to Christ as the head becomes the place where people's lives do a 180. People go from selfish ambitions and living to finding their place in God's kingdom work where they get to invest their lives in a bigger and more beautiful way than they ever could have dreamed.
I have the privilege of being one of the pastors here at StoneBridge and in Ephesians 4 it lays out the requirements of my job. It says, '12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, 13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.' So the great privilege and responsibility I have is following Christ's lead to equip and empower the people of StoneBridge to find their place here and truly make a difference. How exciting it has been to see hope ushering forth into the world through this local body of believers. It always amazes me to look around on Sunday mornings and evenings and seeing the excitment and passion of the people of this church serving others and loving it! It amazes me to see the ministries that have been birthed by God's people stepping out: the food pantry, zambia, latvia, honduras, haiti, campus of hope, backpack programs, and on and on and on.
I want to challenge you to experience the local church on this level. Get involved and find a place to serve and be a part of this powerful movement of God to change the course of history for one person at a time!