Pastor Adam introduced their adopted son, Nate, and had him share a little bit about what it is like for him to be part of a family. Nate was born blind and became an orphaned shortly thereafter. The Harris family adopted him when he was 13. His basic needs were met as an orphan in China, but he was not part of a family. One of Pastor Adam’s primary points today was that you don’t “attend” a family. You are part of a family. Likewise, we are called to do more than just “attend” a church.
God intends us to be part of a family – – a local church family. A family of believers, or what scripture refers to as a “family of fellowship.” It was never God’s intention for people to be spiritually disconnected or only casually connected to a fellowship of believers. God desires us to be deeply rooted and connected with other believers. The Church is the entire body of believers around the world and we are all part of that, but it is clear from scripture God intends us to be part of a local church (such as Rockhills) as well.
Church memberships are not the same as consumer type memberships you may have, such as to Sam’s Club, or Costco, or the gym. We are not an integral part of those types of places as we are called by God to be part of a group of local believers. So what does church membership mean?
You are a necessary part of a whole.
Members are all different, but all work together at the same place and for the same purpose.
Everything we do is based on the Biblical foundation of love
The family of Rockhills Church is committed to living in unity with each other. This unity is founded and based upon love. We are also committed to living in a selfless way and keeping the entire body of believers in mind, not just our own desires. In addition, we are committed to living generously.
Pastor Adam handed out commitment forms that stated what it means (with supporting scripture) to be a member of Rockhills Church. The main headings are: 1) To protect the unity of the church; 2) to share the responsibility of the church; 3) to serve in the ministry of the church and 4) to support the testimony of the church. If you are interested in a copy of this commitment sheet, please e-mail: Laura@rockhills.com.
INVITATION: As you consider the seriousness with which God takes local church membership, join us this week as we study The Body of Christ and how all parts are needed:
MONDAY: I Cor. 12:1-11: Unity in diversity is central to life in Christian community. Paul sees in the community different gifts but the same Spirit; different services and deeds but the same God working through them. How might the words of this passage influence the way you relate to people in the church and the attitude you have toward your local church? Have you been unduly critical of “the church?”
TUESDAY: I COR. 12:12-27: Have you ever reflected on the truth that God considers you an integral part of the larger body of believers? How might you step out in that truth this week and the weeks to come? Is there a way you might begin serving within your local church in order to deepen your spiritual life as well as bless the church of which you are a part? How does it make you feel to know your local church NEEDS you and the gifts given to you by God?
WEDNESDAY: Philippians 2:5-8: Jesus considered others better than himself and became selfless. We are to have the same attitude – – that is not a calling for only the pastor. It is a calling for all believers. How can you imitate Christ’s humility today? Within your immediate family? Within your church family?
The remainder of the week’s readings are taken from the Advent Devotionals that began on 12/2: Transforming Love. If you are not already signed up to get them (they come in a separate e-mail from Ten Minutes With God), send Laura@rockhills.com an e-mail with “Advent” as the subject line. Alternatively, you may read them each day by clicking here. It is our prayer you may know the depths and richness of God’s love for you in profound new ways this Advent season. This can revolutionize your personal relationship with God, as well as the way you are able to love others. What a difference it would make if church members realized how loved and accepted they are by God and could pass that around to each other within the Body of believers – – the local church and specifically Rockhills Church.
THURSDAY: I John 3:1: As you read this verse, spend time with how you feel in your innermost being about being a child of God – “and so you are.” There seems to be some emphasis on this. You ARE a child of God. God has “lavished” love on you. How does this make you feel about God? Do you believe you are loved this much?
FRIDAY: I John 4:19: God loved you first. He loved you since before the beginning of time. Do you feel like this is something you know in your head, but do not really believe in your heart? Pray and ask God about the disconnect between head and heart regarding his love for you. How do you imagine the way you love others might change if you realized and lived into how loved you are?