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Why Church

posted Mar 28, 2011, 12:39 AM by Randal Tyner   [ updated Mar 13, 2016, 9:09 AM by Secretary BRPC ]
Can’t we experience God on our own without having ‘to come to church?’  I feel God’s presence when I’m hiking or out in God’s creation, isn’t that enough?

We can experience God without ever stepping foot in a church. We can find God in nature, in our homes, in every corner of our lives. But we don’t get the full picture that way.  We need more than we can experience on our own.

We believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life giving us ultimate and direct access to God (John 14:1-7).  We need no other mediator (like a priest or a church) to experience the Holy (Hebrews 9).  

Yet, we believe the reason we need the church is because we too easily go our own way, make up our own truth, live our own lives.  We only get glimpses of Jesus on our own.  Joining with others who are different gives us a richer, fuller picture of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  It’s joining with people who love us, frustrate us, and push us to get beyond our narrow understandings of grace and love and truth.  We need others.  That’s what we have to offer people who like Jesus, but maybe aren’t sure he’s the only way.  It’s what we have to offer people who like Jesus, but aren’t so sure about the Church. 

Church isn’t a building.  People are the Church.  It’s people gathered together to worship and make a difference in Christ’s name.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts (Ephesians 4:1-16).

 
Does church really make anyone better? Look at the statistics on moral issues…it seems like it’s full of hypocrites who are no better than anyone else out there.

It’s absolutely true, the church is full of sinners.  The Bible is quite clear that no one is righteous, not one (Romans 3:10).  Even the most prolific writer of the New Testament admits a battle within his own soul—knowing the good still doing the bad (Romans 7).  It’s just that in the Church, we’re honest about our need for God.  We’re all saints (Romans 1:7) and sinners in need of God’s grace.  Together we hold each other up (Galatians 6:2), pray for one another, and help one another (James 5:13-16).  We trust and pray that Jesus will grow us and change us to be more like him.



  • Why This Church?


Just down the road are a number of good churches.  They have good friends, good pastors, and good programs.  We would highly recommend any one of them.  However, there are a few things that make us different than the churches down the road.

    • Leadership
We affirm God’s gifting to both men and women to lead us as elders, deacons, and pastors.  Other church traditions take a few passages that exclude women from leadership.  We believe the whole of Scripture supports partnership of the genders in ministry rather than excluding it. 

    • Culture
We believe Christ calls us to engage culture rather than withdraw from the world.    We fight the ‘bunker-mentality’ of Christianity…we against the world.  Jesus told parable after parable about the kingdom of God being like leaven, salt, light in the world.  Some people call it a ‘missional’ understanding of church.  We want to make a difference now for the better.  

    • Accountability
No one person can have all God’s wisdom for the church’s leadership.  We are led by a group of elders, not a head pastor or bishop.  Christ alone is head of the Church.  Discerning God’s will is done together.  The alternative can lead unchecked toward excess or ‘cult of personality.’  There are too many stories of leadership gone wrong without the proper accountability in place.

Not only is our local church leadership accountable, we are part of a larger network of churches to hold our leadership accountable. We exist in a ‘connectional’ system.  We are connected to other churches and other elders, where more heads and hearts are better than one.