• Jill Jarrell Newsome

We Are Alive

I met with a couple who joined our church. All I had to do was ask, “why this church” and an hour later I was still writing. I like to meet with people so I can “feel” their words. With this couple there was an excitement that they radiate. I do not like to interview because when I chat I sense people’s passions. I share this with you because this is how a church (we, the people, are the church) should be and this is what you should look for in a church!

The first thing mentioned was the presence of the Holy Spirit that made them know they had found their church. As soon as they walked in the door, the first Sunday, they felt the Holy Spirit. After the sermon, there was an Altar call and they went forward. When asked what they would like prayer for, their answer was a renewed spirit. And that is what they have gotten!

The sermons, Altar calls, the children’s moments, the prayers and the outline in the bulletin are all wonderful. At the end of the service they are excited. The wife is so excited to read her Bible again. Joshua 1: 8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” They find the sermons to be Biblical and challenging. Romans 10: 17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

They say the sermons are Biblical and “right on”. 2 Timothy 4: 1-2, "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:  Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching."

I am quickly told that it is not all about the pastor. He said it is the people. From the first time they got out of their car in the parking lot people were greeting them. They said they think others are excited to be at church too! They have become very involved in small groups which helps them to feel a part of the church. They are involved with women's groups, Sunday school, Wednesday night suppers, Bible study, senior groups and travel groups! They feel they are part of a family here! Matthew 12: 49-50, “And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

This couple has found a renewed Spirit! 2 Corinthians 4: 16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” I think they summed up our church when he said, “We’re in a family here. Who is the church? We’re the church!” In the Bible, the church is always a reference to people, not a place. The church is a body of believers that live out the Gospel in their words and actions. The church is at its best when people inside the building take Jesus’ message outside the building and serve those they meet.

If you knew my friend you would know he is good at making you laugh and cry through his jokes and stories. He shared with me that “a person died at church and when they came to pick up the body they picked up four before they got the dead one they came for!” Thankfully, this is not the case at my church and hopefully not yours! Romans 8: 10, “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” We are alive! Thanks be to God!


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