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Summary: God has called us to be the salt and the light of the earth, to bring his hope, light & love. But if we are not connected to Jesus we have no saving power of our own to offer.

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Connected through Prayer

Grant van Boeschoten

October 4, 2009

Sometimes I get asked why I have become so involved in the community. It really goes down to a fundamental belief that I have about the Church.

The mark of a successful church is not how beautiful the building is, or even how successful the people who are the church have become. The mark of a successful church is the change that happens in its community.

One of the instructions that Jesus gave us was to be the salt of the earth. Salt used to be used as preserver; it would help to keep meat from going bad among other things. If we the Church are still useful as salt, the world around us won’t be getting worse, it will be getting better.

I think that one of the saddest pictures in the world is that of a breathtaking church building in the midst of poverty and desolation. I have nothing wrong with building a great building in the middle of that, but if 5, 10 and 15 years go by and that community is not getting any better, then the Church isn’t doing its job.

The Church is called to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. It is called to be an agent of transformation. It is called to be the hands and the feet of Jesus, to bring hope to the hopeless, to bring life to the dying, to bring help to those who need it and to show the way to God to all who are lost.

Jesus explained his mission by quoting Isaiah 61.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NLT)

You see, the Church isn’t here for our glory, but for God’s glory. And it is God’s glory to see the world around us live up to the purpose that God made it for.

I would go so far as to say that a Church that only cares about itself and its own members is selfish and has become a poor representation of Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church.

You don’t come to church just for yourself, do you? No, you come because our Community and our Region need the hope, the light and the love of God in their lives, and if the Church isn’t going to do that then who is. You come because the plans and the purposes that God has for your life and for your community cannot be accomplished by yourself.

The amazing thing about coming to Church for the sake of a lost world, is that in coming to Church you will find yourself discovering, and fulfilling the purpose that God made you for, as part of the collective whole of the Church.

You need something more than just you and God to get the job done, you need the Church, united and strong as the body of Christ. Church isn’t about me, Church is about bringing glory to God.

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