It has been observed that the word “home” is the most endearing word in the English language. Home is a place of warmth and security, where you can feel comfortable, loved, and be yourself.
As John Howard Payne wrote, ”Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”
But another word which evokes similar emotions when fully understood, is the word “Church.” The church also is a place of refuge and security, where we are surrounded by loved ones, and where we have an important purpose in our Father’s plan.
Your “church home” is the local congregation of which you are a member. It is the local body or church of Christ. Here you are welcome, loved, and needed. The church is home to children, young people, singles, young adults, and seniors. It is home to people in every walk of life, at every stage of maturity and of every age. Here you will find those in perfect physical health, and those struggling with the infirmities of the flesh, as well as every variation in between. You will find novice foot soldiers and seasoned warriors.
Your church home is where you are identified as a member, and where you are actively involved. Here, you are not a visitor, nor an observer from the sidelines. You are engaged in the work, and aware of what is going on. You are excited when the congregation is advancing, and you are concerned when the congregation suffers. It is your home.
- Your church home is a place where Christ is preeminent. The preaching is Christ centered. The Bible classes drink deeply from the word of God, and glorify his Son. The church proudly wears the name of Christ, and is never ashamed of him.
- Your church home is governed by the Bible, and deeply respects the authority of God’s word. As a fundamental matter, the entire congregation takes very seriously Paul’s statement to the Colossians: “whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,” (Col. 3:17).
- Just as every member in a physical family is important, every member in your church home is important too. “For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office: so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another,” (Rom. 12:4-5). Every member is important, and every member has a job to do.
- There is an intentional, ongoing attempt to minister to one another in your church home. You will notice many tools like pictorial directories, picture boards, etc. designed to foster fellowship among members. No one is to be left out. All are to be encouraged and included.
- As important as it is to be supportive of our brothers and sisters, your church home is also a place which remembers its mission to seek and save the lost, (Mt. 18:11; Lk. 19:10). It is a place of personal evangelism, and constant reminders about the lost souls around us. Thus, your church home is not satisfied with the status quo. There is a constant agitation for growth, for evangelism, for the sharing of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
Your church home is not a place of proud displays, or dictatorial leaders. It is not a place where notoriety is given to just a few, and all the others are expected to “tow the line.” The pastors are more like Shepherd’s then celebrities. It is not a place for performance worship, or exhibitionism. The emphasis is upon developing a meek and quiet spirit, with which we can effectively serve God. It’s a place where you are at home.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.