Thankful for the Church

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Why am I Thankful for the Church?
 
I’m focusing on why I’m thankful for the  church. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today. How about you?
  1. Scripture-based songs I learned at church still pop into my head from time to time.
    Ok, so I’m not always thankful when this happens! My thought here is that the Church helped me learn God’s Word, and in times of need, those Scriptures still come to my mind — sometimes with a cheesy accompanying melody, but still…
  2. I had a youth pastor (and countless other adults) who invested in me at a young age.
    It wasn’t always spiritual – sometimes it was just watching a movie, or playing games or hanging out – but the things I learned from them shaped my growth as a teen.
  3. It showed me God’s heart for family.
    My brother was a  youth pastor, and I loved seeing that all were welcome in God’s family. I’ve also seen friends from broken homes figuratively adopted by families in the church, showing them the Father’s heart.
  4. It taught me the trouble of isolating yourself.
    I’m a person who can learn from the mistakes of others. (I realize there are plenty of you who have to test the waters yourselves. Enjoy that–I’d rather skip the consequences!) I’ve seen firsthand the danger that comes with isolating yourself, as I saw friends pull away from the church and then pull away from God.
  5. It gave me memorable experiences of grace.
    Sometimes it’s hard to imagine just how complete the grace of God is. But each time someone shows you it becomes a little more real. God has used friends, teachers and leaders in the Church to show me grace when I didn’t deserve it. And at other times, when people in the church behaved in ways that didn’t bring Him glory, God has taught me to have grace for them.
  6. It provided opportunities for me to be involved in ministry even when I was young.
    My faith never grew so much as when I was given opportunities to minister, even as a teen and young adult. My faith grew in action alongside more mature Christians.
  7. It keeps my eyes focused on the eternal.
    No matter what is happening in life, the Church exists to draw people to Jesus. Just typing those words brings tears to my eyes. He is what matters. And I come back to that again and again – through trial and victories – because of the Church.

 

So, now it’s your turn. Why are you thankful for the Church?
 
Pastor Derek Wadsworth