This study is about the bride of Jesus Christ, the Church. Jesus died and rose again to reconcile sinners to God and to gather them together as the Church. Jesus loves his Church. Jesus died for the Church. Jesus cares for the church; builds the church; is the foundation of the church; and rules the Church as its Husband and Head. As the church, the people of God have a unique, living, and active relationship with Jesus as He empowers us, through the Holy Spirit, to continue that same mission as the Church.
Sadly, a growing number of people don’t love the Church like Jesus. Many don’t know what to think or feel about the church while others are convinced the church is dying and/or lost its mission. With new titles flooding the marketplace like: They Like Jesus but Not the Church, Life after Church, Pagan Christianity, Divine Nobodies, Quitting Church, it is no wonder that we hear professing Christians talk about a “Churchless Christianity.” More and more disgruntled, disillusioned, and the disconnected believers are fleeing the local church, searching for a new version of “church” that will provide a more fulfilling spiritual experience. Though most can identify what they feel is wrong with the church, few can actually explain what the Bible says is right about it. All they know is that, in their view, the institution of church is broken, the preaching in the church is irrelevant, the leadership of the church is corrupt, and the traditions for church are routine and meaningless.
This is why our study is so important. Instead of listening to the loudest voices of culture, we’ll seek to understand what Jesus says the church he died for and built is all about. Week one seeks to clarify what is the church and what is not the church. Week two will address why we preach instead of having spiritual conversations. Week three will identify who our Senior Pastor Jesus uses to care for His bride. Finally, week four and five will explain what traditions Jesus charged His Church to practice and why their more than just routines.
Our prayer for this study is that God will awaken in all of us a renewed love for His bride, the church.