In Matthew 18:20 Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Some of my earliest and fondest memories are attending church with my family. My Christian foundation was being built as I sat in that pew as a small child. Now whether I understood every word being spoken from that pulpit, I don’t know, but my young brain was soaking in God’s Word anyway. Jesus left us The Church so that we as Christians could gather together and soak Him in. The Church is our “Pep Rally” before we start a new week. It gives us sustenance because it feeds us The Word. It lifts us up when we stumble, and loves us. Jesus knew we would need to gather together in this way to continue our walk with Him, to face this troubled world, and to recharge our “battery” so that we can shine as a bright Light for Him.
There are people who say that they don’t really need church. One of the most common reasons being, “I don’t want to gather with a bunch of hypocrites.” The best response to that is something I heard from our Associate Pastor, “Well, we always have room for one more.” Then there are those who feel they can just go through this Christian walk on their own. They do their worshiping out on the lake, or early in the morning in a deer stand as the sun rises. They worship during a walk, in their car, or in the quiet of their bedroom. Now there really is nothing wrong with that. I love me some alone time meditating and having some good talks with God as that beautiful sun He created comes up over the horizon. But I can tell you, you’re missing out on a big part of your Christian walk when you decide not to gather with other Believers in Christ. The times I’m not in church or at least in a Small Group studying The Word, I do feel that my Light starts to fade. I can feel the world creeping in and trying to change who and what God wants me to be. So yeah, church is vital to the Christian life. I know that in this day and time it can be extremely difficult to find a church home because a lot of churches have gotten away from true biblical teachings, or some churches sadly aren’t that welcoming, but there is a place for you somewhere. We moved across the country and still found such a place. God will speak to your heart and you’ll know when you’ve found the right church, but you have to make the effort to find that place.
This past Sunday was our last day for a while to attend our church here in Chattanooga. I always get a little teary eyed on our last Sunday before we head out for baseball. I miss our church family who are very dear to us. We are only with them for a few months, so I try to soak in as much as I can before heading out into the world and away from home. I want to let them all know that we learn so much from them, we take what we learn with us wherever we go and try to spread it around, and we feel their love from across the miles.
Thank you to our pastors, Gary Jared, Darrell Davenport, and Brian K. Smith for bringing us The Message as it should be and preparing us to go out into the world. Thank you to Zac Johns for beautifully leading us in songs of praise. Jim Fleming, we will miss your smiling face, sense of humor, and the calmest voice in America since Mr. Rogers. Thank you to our Sunday School teacher, Mel Lipe and our sweet class members for teaching us and loving us so much. We will miss you all. See you in September, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise…
If you ever find yourself in the Chattanooga area and need a church to visit or you are searching for a church home, try Stuart Heights Baptist Church. There are three campuses in our area…Chattanooga, Hixson, and Soddy Daisy.