The first principle of “charging up your church” is to connect with others.
Hebrews 10:25 states, “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.”
One of the best ways to experience Christ and experience the church in your life is to start out by plugging into God and others by attending church regularly. Then you go on to the next phase and you charge up to become like Christ in a small group gathering. In other words, you begin build some relationships that begin to take you deeper in your faith. Small groups are just a place where you can make friends, where you can grow in your faith and where you can have fun. It’s a safe place.
The emphasis when you look to the Bible isn’t just about showing up, it’s about connection. Go beyond church attendance. Connect with one another.
The second principle is that when you connect with one another then you can motivate one another. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
Why do people walk out the back door of our churches? I think part of what allows that to happen is there is not relational depth that they are building in the church community. There is no one in their life to motivate them and say, “Hey what are you doing? You need to be here. You need to be involved. You need to let God work in your life in this way.” When that’s in place, when it’s happening, it makes a huge difference. I think the writer of Hebrews is saying if you want to wake up in two years, in five years and seven years from now and still be maintaining the course and continuing to see God bring changes into your life, then you have to regularly be deepening relationships with other believers on the journey.
Thirdly, encourage one another. Literally you pour courage into one another. You see it in the Hebrews 10 passage the writer emphasizes encouragement. “Let us not neglect our meeting together as some people do but encourage one another especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” One of the most significant reasons for meeting together in small group gatherings and large group gatherings is to encourage one another. Pour courage in to one another. It’s an amazing experience when you are in a group with two, three or four other people. People start showing up to that group. One person will say “It’s been an interesting week this week because maybe for the first time in a long, long time, I actually opened up the Bible and read it this week. I really sensed God was working in my life.” People say, “instead of just coming home and hitting the couch this week I spent some quality time with my kids and I feel really great about that.” People high five one another and encourage one another and say “Good job! Way to go!” Other people bring their pain and hurt into those group meetings and they walk away and they feel like they’ve let go of some of that burden. They are not walking alone. We are encouraging one another.
Wherever you are at in your life, I think what God wants to do is move you from just looking at the back of heads, move you from just sitting on a pew to sitting in a circle. Look at the faces of some people who are also on the journey following Christ so that you know that you are not alone. Get connected. Motivate one another. Encourage one another. Let God move in your life.
Re-printed from Jud Wilhite’s sermon, “Charge Up Your Church”. Central Christian Church. Used by permission.