- Do you believe the church is God’s primary design for spiritual growth? Why or why not? In what ways has the local church impacted you personally?
- Are you aware of your need for God and the church or have you become self-reliant and distracted? In what ways are you regularly pouring yourself out and creating a void?
- Do you spend consistent time in Scripture? How have you seen this practice serve as a means for “transforming your mind?”
- What does it look like to come under authority in the local church and in your relationship with God? Are you resistant to this type of authority in your life?
- Blake shares his personal story of participation in a healthy local church and how it impacted and changed the course of his life. He presents the case of the local church as God’s primary design for spiritual growth. It is the current formula, created by God, for community and life change. He reminds listeners that if the church isn’t part of their lives, they are rejecting God’s design and dismissing the importance of continued maturity as believers.
- Blake defines the mission of the church as being “emptied out.” He references Acts where we see the believers relying on God and one another to help them advance the church. They do not have the power or resources to accomplish their mission, and therefore, they are keenly aware of their need. The danger, Blake proposes, in today’s culture is that we have become so self-reliant and capable of meeting our needs, we don’t feel the need for dependence on God and others. If we are never empty, we never have a void in our lives God can use the church to fill. Sadly, many of us are distracted and desensitized to the point we no longer find the church compelling.
- The role of Biblical teaching is paramount to our growth and our connection to the local church. Blake, Chris, and Brad discuss how Scripture orients us to God, helps us to know God better, connects us to part of a bigger story, and defines and directs us. In a media-saturated culture, the Scriptures help to change the way we think. They challenge us to be more like God and think more like him.
- Blake concludes the episode by discussing the distinction between service in an organization vs. the local church. He acknowledges the importance of serving in many different capacities and the inherent value in non-profit and other worthy causes. He reminds listeners, however, that a key component of the local church is the ability to come under authority and allow leaders and fellow believers to direct our lives. This practice also equips us to come under God’s authority.
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position as a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Phillipians 2:6-8
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus by Jonathan Leeaman
If you know a man who would benefit from hearing this episode, share it with him. Having intentional conversations around these principles is a great way to disciple and help others move towards Christ.
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