Summary: Sermon #1 of the Basics series deals with 10 reasons a person should connect with a local congregation.

Basics #1- The Church

The Top 10 Reasons for Connecting with a Church

Romans 12:6-21

CHCC: July 5, 2009

INTRODUCTION: The Top Ten things you’ll never hear in church: (present these the way they do on the late night TV show)

10 – Since we’re all here, let’s start the service early!

9 - Why can’t I have nursery duty EVERY Sunday?

8 - Can’t we please have more sermons about money?

7 – Personally, I’d much rather paint the office building than play golf.

6 – Why can’t we stand up for the WHOLE service?

5 – Please, let ME clean out the storage closet!

4 – I love it when we sing 7 or 8 new songs I’ve never heard before

3 –– Hey! It’s MY turn to sit in the front row!

2 -- Let’s raise enough money to send all our pastors to that Bible Conference in Hawaii

1 – Preacher, can’t you make your sermons a little longer?

Reminds me of the little boy whose mom had him sit with her in adult church for the first time. Afterwards she asked him what he thought and he said, “The music was good ---- but the commercial was too long!”

If you’ve looked at the sermon notes you’re probably worried that THIS commercial is going to be too long. Let me reassure you that … even though we have 10 points … they are going to go by fast. So stay with me!

I want you to think back to how many years you’ve been attending church. I know for some of you, church-going is kind of new. For others, you need a calculator to count the years.

My parents took me to church a few weeks after I was born. For most of my life, I was at church at least 2 or 3 times every week. Let’s see, 58.8 years X 52 weeks a year X 2 times a week = 6,115 church services … and counting.

Church has been such an important part of my life that I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have a church family. But I’ve heard people say things like, “I believe in God, but I don’t need the church. I can worship God better by myself out in nature.”

It’s even more common to find people who were part of a church family for years … but then something went wrong - they left that church and never got connected again.

Even more common than THAT are the ones who never DECIDED to stop going to church. They just got busy or felt tired a few weeks … and kind of wandered away from the church. Without thinking about it, they just got out of the habit.

Is it really that important to connect with a church family and meet together regularly? Jesus saves us as individuals, so why did He also commission the Church? Well, a big percentage of the New Testament is dedicated to telling us how we are to treat one another within Christ’s church. Today, we’re going to look in just one chapter (Romans 12) and we’ll see Ten Reasons we need to be in church. So --- Number 1 ---

1. In the church we use our gifts

Romans 12:6-8 says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."

God has given every one of you gifts --- and these gifts are not just meant to improve your family or your community. God wants you to use your gifts in His Church. You might prefer to worship God alone --- and that’s great. But if you want to help other people and if you want to grow God’s Kingdom, you will use your God-given gifts within a church family. It’s only in the church that our gifts can be combined together to make a “body” that is fully functioning.

I’ve been here at CHCC now for about 24 years, and during that time I’ve been amazed over and over at how God brings people into our church just at the time that their gifts are needed. It’s always sad to see people go. Gary and Robin Haines and their family have been such a blessing here for the last few years, and I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye to them as they move away! But I know that God will lead them into another church where they will be just as great a blessing as they have been here. And I believe God has people in mind to fill the gaps they will leave here.

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