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The Church is Important!

“Devotion to Jesus cannot be effectively implemented without a devotion to the local church.”

So says Dave Harvey of Sovereign Grace Ministries. The quote comes from a chapter of the book that our CRC small groups have been discussing twice a month since February - Why Small Groups? Chapter 7 puts an exclamation point at the end of a book about the what and why of small groups in the local church. We’ve been using it in the initial months of our CRC small group meetings in order to help us all to better understand the value and function of a small groups ministry. Harvey’s chapter is a great one! While esteeming small groups, he highlights the importance and priority of the entire local church body, and he gets it right.

Carve out some time to read the chapter, if you haven’t already. It can be downloaded for free. The chapter is especially germane to Christ Redeemer because of the stage of our development. It will be important for all of us, I think, to have a solid grasp of the essence and function of the local church in order to grow in healthy ways. This chapter will help.

Here are some other thoughts (convicting to me!) from the chapter to give you a flavor (or remind you) of what you’ll be reading:

“Churches imagine that the less they ask or expect of believers, the more popular they will become and the more contented the worshipers will be. The reverse is true.” -David Wells

“The New Testament church was not randomly devoted to every cause, passion, or structure; rather, they were strategically devoted. They expressed that devotion through Temple meetings, home meetings, prayer meetings, and hospitality times, just to name a few.” -Harvey

“Spiritual growth and maturity simply will not happen apart from relationships in the local church...” -CJ Mahaney

“Chester had fallen prey to a virus which afflicts many believers. Having established their citizenship in the kingdom, they still define success by worldly standards. Income, education, and advancement take precedence over character, service, and commitment to church life.” -Harvey

“It is scandalous that so many believers today have such a low view of the church. They see their Christian lives as a solitary exercise - Jesus and me - or they treat the church as a building or social center.” -Charles Colson

“Sasha loves the church - as long as it doesn’t interrupt her leisure pursuits... with her high pressure job, she believes she ‘needs’ these distractions to refresh her weary soul... Sasha has the ‘leisure’ virus... Leisure subtly persuades us to invest our time, not necessarily in evil, but in irrelevance... Where leisure is uncritically enjoyed, the church will transition steadily from prophetic to passive, all the while eloquently justifying its decline.” -Harvey

“The decline of the church is more due to laziness than wickedness.” -John Calvin

“Love your church. Lay down your life for your church. Pour out your passions and energies to accomplish God’s plan for your church.” -Harvey

“Are you currently pursuing any career goals or hobbies that compromise your commitment and contribution to the church?” -Harvey

Download the chapter for free.