A Faith as Precious as Ours

Screenshot 2014-03-23 14.09.56Upward, Inward or Outward: which one is the most important?  They cannot be ranked in order of importance without destroying the beauty of their unity.  I’ve been thinking about this in the context of discussions I’ve had concerning how to do church.

When talking about the need to gather as an assembly to worship God inevitability someone feels compelled to interject, “There’s more to church than just going on Sunday morning”.  And certainly they are correct, but can we not take some time to talk about how important Sunday morning worship is without it being implied that there are more important matters to discuss?

Talking about the inward movement of growing in our knowledge of the Lord and in our love for one another is almost as bad.  I can hear the critics warming up their voices to say, “An internal focus is so self-centered.  We’ve got to move beyond learning the Bible and building spiritual friendships with each other; get away from our church buildings and out into the world where the real work is to be done!”  

Somehow, we’ve allowed ourselves to think that the outward movement is the only work worthy of the name Christian.   This has perhaps been created by its neglect, but if we overcorrect and begin to minimize the upward and inward dimensions of doing church, we will find we have little to offer other than what any service minded group can offer.

As Christians what we alone can offer is Christ!  We hold up the Christ we worship and the Christ who lives inside us and teaches us how to love one another.  We offer the Christ community where we are continually growing in our knowledge of Christ and in our ministry to one another in the name of Christ.  Out of our sense of identity as the worshiping community (Upward) and out of the sense of mission and purpose we develop as the growing community (Inward) we seek opportunities to be the serving community (Outward).

Each direction works together to support all the others.  Don’t fall for the line that any one is more important than the other.  What we need is balance and growth in all three directions.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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