Is the Local Church Worth the Effort?

I know that’s a question I’m not supposed to ask as a pastor. But if I’m honest, that question has crossed my mind. And I’m sure it’s crossed your mind as well.

All of us who have been involved with the church have frustrations and disappointments. There’s no denying it—Christians can be frustrating people! Even though I started working for the church 28 years ago as an intern at New City in Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA), there have been multiple times when I’ve had serious questions about my involvement. Questions about those I work with. Questions about the members of the church. Internal questions—“Am I just wasting my time?”

But again and again over the years, the Lord has answered my questions with a resounding: “Yes, the local church is worth the effort!”

I’ve met remarkable people in the church over the years who have loved me, challenged me, and been used by God to mold me into the man I am today. The pastor of New City in Chattanooga used to say, “The church is God’s vehicle for social change.”

To that, I say yes! And I would add that the church is also God’s vehicle for personal change. The Lord does sometimes work in miraculous ways outside the organized church, but most often, His “tool” for personal and social change is the local body of Christ.

This month will be a special month at New City as we focus on the church. We’ll start a new sermon series titled “We Are The Church,” and membership classes start on September 10th. The sermon series will look at biblical teaching on the church while the classes will dig a little deeper into who we are at New City Church (IPC).

My prayer is that God will bind us together as the body of Christ in a renewed way over the coming weeks. Specifically, the sermons and classes will be leading us to October 8th when a group of us will take vows together as New City Church. 

Please let me know which membership class you’d like to join (Sundays before worship or Saturday, 23 September) in person or by filling out the brief registration form here.

Is the local church worth the effort?  YES!!!And let’s all thank the Lord for His commitment to gathering His people together for His purposes in this world.

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Chris Hatch

Seeking to love God and neighbor