The Church gets a lot of criticism about what is wrong with it. And few if any would contend the Church hasn’t made mistakes or there isn’t room for improvement. The Church, however, is doing many good things and brings value to its members and communities. Here are five major things that are right with the church.
1. Community service. Churches help the poor and disenfranchised by providing meals, tangible goods, child care, lodging, counseling, courses, career services, and much more. One program that impacts families and the community is Celebrate Recovery, a program for persons and families with addictions.
2. Teach moral values. Churches teach values such as respect for human life, integrity, honesty, justice, compassion, and not stealing. These values are the fabric of a healthy community and country. Churches teach us how to get outside ourselves and how to love God and others.
3. Encourage the arts. Churches teach creative arts such as dance, music, and drama, and provide outlets for sacred creative expression through worship. Many entertainers and artists learned their craft in the church.
4. Global involvement. Thanks to affordable and accessible international air travel, church members are engaged with helping people around the world. Teams of volunteers build homes, churches, schools, and wells for clean water. They provide medical care and training in agricultural practices and health care. Churches have instituted programs like PEACE that address spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy.
5. Relationships. Churches bring people together who share similar values. They help one another better themselves, their families, and their world. Churches provide a sense of identity and belonging. Faith communities provide intimacy and emotional support through small group ministries. Churches provide opportunities for people to do life together. Many church members will remain in a church even when the church leaders or programs are less than ideal because of the deep bonds they have made with fellow church members. For people who have no relatives close to them the church may be their family.
If you analyze these five things, they represent the five purposes of the church in Acts 2:42. Healthy churches benefit not only their members, but their communities.
Small Group Network
Rockbridge Seminary is partnering with The Small Group Network. The staff at SGN help facilitate the course, Building a Small Group Ministry. In this course, you will collaborate with small group leaders around the world. You will get to interact with the founder, Steve Gladen, the Global Pastor of Small Groups at Saddleback Church since 1998. He oversees the strategic launch and development of over 7,000 adult small groups on multiple campuses. He has authored Small Groups With Purpose, which has been translated into twelve languages to date, Leading Small Groups With Purpose, and Planning Small Groups with Purpose.
The Building a Small Group Ministry class will be offered in the 2019 fall term.
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