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One of the questions I’ve been asked several times over the last few years has to do with being a pastor in a local church.

As one man told me today – “there are easier ways of making a living, Sam. Churches mean people and people mean problems.”

Tullian Tchividjian put it well…

I realized many years ago that God has only oath-bound his blessing to one institution—the church. And while the church is universal in nature, it’s local in expression. Therefore, if I wanted to be where the gospel-action is, I needed to give my life to the local church.

I really believe a central component to my calling is to help a new generation understand the beauty and necessity of the local church. A few years ago I was in Starbucks with our music director, Brandon. As we waited in line to get our afternoon caffeine kick, the young barista behind the counter overheard us talking about our church, which at that point was only a year old, and we started chatting. Brandon soon invited her to visit our church one Sunday. She responded in typical postmodern fashion, saying, “I’m into spirituality, but I’m not really into organized religion.” Brandon, who has a wonderfully quick wit, replied, “Don’t worry, we’re really not that organized.”

The barista’s statement illustrates what many people believe today, namely that they can have a meaningful relationship with God without being connected to a local church. But it’s just not possible to have Christ the head without Christ the body—his church (Ephesians 1:22–23; Colossians 1:18). The two are inseparable. Christians do not worship a decapitated Jesus. The Bible does not drive a wedge between Christ and his body. To neglect the body of Christ is to neglect Christ. Just as no one can survive without air, so Christians can’t survive without the church. Without the church, Christians suffocate.

The best place for me to help people understand this is in the role of local pastor.


One Comment

  1. Sam –
    I am so excited about reaching to the community of people that are hopeless, destitute and in despair. I have been all of these and God picked me up and restored my soul. I would love to work in the church with these people. Let me know what I can do to help. Welcome to you and Ruth.

    In Christ,

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