What is the third cord of connection to the local church?
We are considering the concept of connectedness as the goal of the local church for every believer (including restored dropout believers). Last week we looked at the second cord: Personal relationships with believers in the local church.
The third cord of connection to the local church is:
3. An area of ministry in the (local) church (Phil 2:1-4).
There must be an area of service by the believer to complete the three stranded connectivity process. This involves the believer reaching back to the congregation to return the agape love he has received. An area of service to the local church is a safeguard against the deceitful snare of disconnection from the body.
When a believer has an area of service, then he is committed to be in church whether or not he feels like it. This cord of connectivity is a buffer against living by our feelings. If we don't feel like being at church, or something comes up (and something always comes up for the uncommitted believer), we simply make a spur of the moment decision not to go. That decision leads to the next decision not to go, and a few months down the road, the believer finds that he hasn't been in church much or at all. Every believer needs to serve the local body in one or more defined areas of ministry. Without an area of ministry service, a believer is not connected.
In summary, every believer, not just the dropout believer, needs to be connected to the local church in the sense we have described. Think about people you have known over the years who have dropped out of vital church relationship. In each case, one or more of these three cords of connection to the local church was either missing or very weak.
Action Tip: For your own part, do you have an area of ministry in your church? One that causes you to reach out and minister to others? For more depth on this topic, read Hunters of the Harvest, chapter 15.
Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest Ministry. He has been actively involved in the local church for more than 37 years and currently serves as a lay leader and teacher at Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston. For more information, visit huntersoftheharvest.org.
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