Dear Church Family,
Even pastors and preachers can struggle to really love their church. But if we don’t love it, how will we teach our people to love it? How will we invite others to attend it? How will we be faithful to it?
Part of loving your church is studying why the church is so important in God’s plan for redemption.
Let me just share some reasons why we should love the church and then maybe we can join hearts in prayer that God will renew our hearts in passionate love for His church, this church, our church.
- It glorifies God! -1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whatever, then, you eat or drink or whatever your do, do all to the glory of God.” It is clear that God loves His Church and when we love the things that He loves, it brings honor and glory to Him.
- It shows faithfulness to the Scripture! -The two greatest commandments in Scripture are: “Love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).” Loving God and loving one another are not optional for believers, but rather, they are commands. When God’s people obey these commands, it simply reveals their desire to be faithful to His Word!
- It is a great witness to the world! -One of the greatest things the Church can do is love one another. John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We must remember that the world is watching the church! In all that the church does, in its advertising, programming, business meetings, fellowshipping, etc., there should be genuine Christian love!
- It unifies the Body of Christ! -Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” The members of God’s Church should love and submit to one another for the sake of unity. When selfless love is present, unity is sure to follow!
- It creates an atmosphere of vibrant and meaningful worship! -When love and unity are present in the Body of Christ, it definitely makes the corporate worship environment more powerful and substantial. Notice all the times the word “us” is used in the following verses: “O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let usshout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let uscome before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms…come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand (Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7). The “us” in those verses is the Body of Christ coming together to truly praise and worship the Lord.
- It brings proper and rightful edification! The church in Thessalonica was clearly one of Paul’s favorite churches. He loved them dearly and it was clear that they loved one another. The love that was felt and expressed in 1stand 2ndThessalonians always seemed to lead to such powerful words of encouragement. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 says, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows even greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God…” As we see here, Christian love will lead to a rightful edification and a certain amount of “healthy” pride for the church.
- It promotes genuine care and concern among the Body of Christ! -When you genuinely love someone, you take the time to care for them and minister to them. When true Christian love is present in the church, the Body of Christ will do a good job taking care of one another. Paul loved the church so much in Thessalonica that he wrote, “Therefore, when we could endure it no longer…we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:1-2), and a little later Paul went on to say, “For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account” (1 Thessalonians 3:9). What we see here is that proper love leads to proper care and concern in the Body!
- It fosters church growth! -People want to be in a place where they are loved! They want to know that no matter what, someone will be present to listen to them, care for them and share the truth of God’s Word with them. When true, biblical love is present, there is a difference in the air of your church. There will be a sense of warmth, grace and Christ’s love that will be attractive to those who visit your church. Love, of course, must be rooted in the truth of the Gospel, for when it is, it will truly display the beautiful aroma of Christ. Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
- It breeds excitement! -People should long to come to church! No one wants to attend a church that is lifeless and cold. When love and a healthy sense of pride are present in the church, people will want to be there! Love will breed excitement and joy in the Body of Christ and will encourage people not to miss out on the great things God is doing! After all, the Scripture says, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’”. Without a doubt, there should be a certain amount gladness that comes to mind when one thinks about attending their church!
- It puts the focus where it belongs! -Without a question, the focus of the church should be on the Lord and other people, not on ourselves! Churches that split, fight and divide, usually can trace one thing to the core of all of their problems…SELFISHNESS! Just like in a marriage, the goal everyday should be to put your spouse above yourself, so in the church, the members should put the Lord first and others second! It is way too easy in the church to focus on all the wrong things: selfish agendas, personal preferences, prideful ideas, etc., when the true focus needs to be on the Lord and His people! A church that loves biblically will be a church that put the focus right where it is needed. The Scripture says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5).”
Finally, remember this, the church should be a place marked by grace and truth…a place where you we accept people as they are, but tell them like it is! Love never waters down the truth, but rather embraces the truth and genuinely flows from it! Biblical love goes beyond human sentiment and mere emotionalism, and is rather seeped and immersed in the person and work of Jesus Christ! Love is sacrifice…love is grace…love is truth…love is Jesus! My prayer for you and your church is exactly what Paul prayed for the church in Thessalonica, “Now as the love of the brethren…we urge you to excel still more (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).” Each church should make it their ambition to excel still more in their faith and in their love, as they seek to truly be the Body of Christ God intends for them to be!
And a personal note: I know you face giants in your life … So do I! The emotional giants of fear, worry, resentment, and anger can be overwhelming sometimes.
But you and I also have the power to slay those giants — we can stand up for truth and live victoriously — as we hold on to practical biblical truths.
I hope you will help our church continue ministering the life-changing power of God’s Word, and share these truths with our community in various ministries, by giving a generous tithe and offering so we can meet budget and ministries don’t suffer.
With Many Prayers and Christian Love,
Church Phone: 423-272-7676
Church Email: email@example.com
Rick Dinkins phone: 423-754-0750
Let us know if you have questions or if you made a decision for Christ.