I love the church. I love our local church family. I love the partnership we have in the Gospel. I know, I know, I am supposed to say that because I serve as a pastor. But love for the local church has not always been my testimony.
Before coming to Watkinsville, I had experienced some pain in the church. I had been hurt, and I had seen others slandered, controlled, and judged. At times I wanted to give up on the local church. I was far from perfect, but I knew this was the opposite of what the church should be.
After some time, our family visited Watkinsville. God spoke to us on our very first visit. He spoke through Carlos’ message. He spoke through the people we met. It wasn’t church like we had experienced before, it was different. We described our experience that morning as “a breath of fresh air.”
Watkinsville was not perfect but was a place with real people. People who were broken and who needed Jesus. People who were not afraid to talk about their struggles. People who loved the church; not for the buildings or programs, but for the people.
Paul was thankful for the church. He was grateful for the people and often mentioned them by name. He was thankful for their partnership in the Gospel. He knew that he wasn’t following Jesus alone. God gave us the church so that we can live out the great commandment and fulfill the Great Commission together.
Regardless of your experience, are you thankful for the church? As we study Acts together, pray that God would grow your love for the church and grow your passion for our partnership in the Gospel.