I'm Thankful: Day 4

Day 4: A Church Home

The local church has played a vital role in my life to this point. I do not see any change in that pattern coming anytime soon. I was raised by my Christian parents with a priority given to "going to church." It is very typical of those who live in the deep south to be involved in a local church. To some, it is a fellowship gathered to worship... to others, it is another social meeting to be part of. When I speak of the local church, I'm speaking of a group of professing believers who gather together to worship the Lord and carry out the Great Commission that Jesus gave.

I'm thankful for the local churches that I have had the privilege of being part for many reasons...

  • It taught me about who God was and gave me knowledge of His word.

  • It told me about the "why" behind the "what". Though I had heard and even believed the truth that Jesus was God's Son and that He came to earth to live a perfect life, die upon a cross, be buried, and resurrected from the dead, it was the obedience of a couple members of a local church that showed me that Jesus did all that to pay for my sin and make a way for me to have a relationship with God.

  • It showed me the importance of growing in my faith. God used people within the church fellowship to show me how to study the Bible for myself, pray, and share my faith with others.

  • It backed me and encouraged me in my calling to ministry. As a 17 year old young man, the local church came alongside me and gave me opportunities to see that calling grow and be used for the glory of God.

  • It has provided some of the deepest friendships I've ever known. In the local churches that I've had privilege to be part, God has brought into my life (and the life of my family) some friends that have truly grown more to be like family.

These are just a few reasons that come to mind for the reason that I thank God Almighty for the local church. There is truly nothing on the face of the earth like the local church. I whole-heartedly agree with Bill Hybels (Pastor of Willow Creek Church) when he says..."The local church is the hope of the world."

I hope that you have the wonderful opportunity to be part of a local Christian fellowship commonly known as a church. If you are not, I would greatly encourage you to find one close to you. Get involved and let God minister to you as He has me in my life. What role has the local church played in your life?