We just had a GREAT Come and Consider class last weekend, and you will be so excited to meet the dozen or so people that will be joining Rockland over the next month!
I remember another Come and Consider class we had about year and a half ago, and a question came up that I (embarrassingly) couldn't answer very well.
The question was: "What do members of Rockland do to grow in our faith? What does the church ask of us?"
I didn't have an answer then, but I do now.
How do you grow in your faith in Christ? What is an expectation of those with whom we are locking arms here at Rockland? We have talked about this before, and this is certainly not earth-shattering, but let me offer a reminder.
Spiritual growth happens when we worship, connect, serve and give.
We will look at each of these over the next 4 weeks.
Worship: Regular Gathering
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another….
Why does anyone go to a Broncos game? Think about it...
You drive to a game and it costs you gas, fighting traffic and tons of time - not to mention an expensive ticket. You eat there, costing you $42.50 for a hotdog and small soda. In Colorado, you have to 'layer' and will probably be freezing cold no matter what. Need a bathroom? No problem. Just go wait in line for 30 minutes with people you don't know. After the game, you start the long fight of traffic home.
Why don't you just sit at home, wrap in a blanket, eat your own food, use your own bathroom, and turn on the fireplace? You avoid traffic, save money, are much more comfortable, and can turn it off if the game gets out of hand. Why do 75,000+ people make the trek to the game each week?
You intuitively know the answer:
The experience is different when we share it with other people. It is different to be there then to participate remotely as an isolated individual.
So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ.
It is a different experience to be in corporate worship than to watch it online. It is different to hear the Word taught than it is to read the Bible on your own (though both are good). it is different to listen to Christian music while driving around vs. belting it out with a hundred other Christ-worshipers (again - though both are good).
The act of gathering with God's people regularly, and declaring His goodness in unison is formative.
It shapes us.
Each and every week is everyone supposed to have a big spiritual epiphany? Not necessarily, but certainly being present and engaged repeatedly over time is something that can transform us more into the image of Jesus.
This is step one in spiritual growth: If you are able, come to church regularly. Be as connected as you are able to other believers in a corporate worship experience.
(Note: For those that are only able to worship online because of health, life-stage, or other reasons relatively out of your control: you know the above better than anyone. Know that you are loved and I know many of you do the best you can in your commitment to Christ and I honor you for it. You are a part of us.)
Answer this question -- For those of us that are able to be here regularly, what does God think of our current commitment to worshiping Him with other believers?
I am a better man, father, husband, and pastor because of the cumulative effect of gathering with like-minded believers and proclaiming His Name, week after week.
I want that for you.
See you Sunday!
Reminder: we have our annual meeting this Sunday, February 4th starting at 11:45 (right after the second service). We have some exciting things to celebrate and some important things to vote on! You can download the packet to preview it HERE.