categories: I'm curious, church, global church, personal
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October 8th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

27 comments (+ Add)

I Love The Church

I love the church more than I can describe.

Bill Hybels has often said, “The local church is the hope of the world.” I believe those words with all my heart.

Many people today specialize in criticizing churches. While I acknowledge our (American) churches have a lot of room to improve, I see so many good things:

  • I love that many are becoming more missionally minded.
  • I love that churches are putting more emphasis on building people than on building buildings.
  • I love that churches are working together.
  • I love that many people really believe the Church can make a difference in the world.
  • I love that many churches are becoming more passionate about worship, holiness, and knowing God through His word.
  • I love that many churches are becoming passionate about reaching those far from God with the gospel of Christ.

While I applaud and support many parachurch ministries, to me, (and I believe to God), nothing replaces the power of what God wants to do through the local church.

I love the church!

What do you love about what God is doing through His church?

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Comments

there are a total of27
  1. Oct 8, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I love that the church is a place that you can see people who are going through a hard time being taken care of. This is what is currently happening in the church I am a part of. It is awesome to see the church raising up to take care of those that it suppose to be taking care of. There are many other reasons why I love the church, many of which you already shared.

  2. Oct 8, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I love that the church is becoming more open to supporting and equipping people with ideas and passion for ministry, as opposed to viewing the work of the church as the exclusive domain of professional Christians. What could be better than the honor of using one’s gifts and talents serving on God’s team? It’s in the “doing” of God’s work that the meaning and truth of Scripture come alive.

  3. Oct 8, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I would say AMEN to all you have written. I would also add that I love that churches are becoming more acceptable of imperfect people (aren’t we all?). To clarify: to borrow from Pastor John Burke “No Perfect People Allowed.” Oh, I love that you are delineating these. :)

  4. 4Kurt
    Oct 8, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Isn’t ‘parachurch’ just a different kind of local church? It seems like ‘parachurch’ emerges out of a need that local church either can’t or won’t fill.

  5. Oct 8, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I love the fact that pastors are working together for the better of the Church.
    I love that churches are becoming more focused on being a rescue station for the hurting rather than a social gathering for the religious.
    I love that more than ever, there is a celebration of the diversity within the Church.
    I love that churches are getting into the community and showing the gospel to a hurting world.
    I love the excitement I sense within my own church.

    I love what God is doing through Life Church. He is using LC as a catalyst for change within the Church.

    Craig we love you for leading the Church to places many of us would have never imagined. I am holding you up in prayer.

  6. Oct 8, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I agree with this all Craig. I love the church and I love positive leaders, who keep ministering loving challenges to faith, and encouraging us pastors. thanks Craig.

  7. 7Greg
    Oct 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

    We are letting a new church plant use our facilities for free, not for worship but for meetings, bible studies and seminars. They meet on Sunday mornings in a school so have no regular spot for these type of activities. The catch is that in 7 months they have doubled the size of our church attendance. We could be jealous and envious, but we are all about the Kingdom.

  8. Oct 8, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I also love “The Church of God.” The body of Christ.
    “The ekklesia of God.” “The called out one’s of God.”

    “The local church is the hope of the world.”

    Hmmm? Have some questions about “church.”
    Can’t seem to find “local church” in the KJV.

    When you hear words that are not in the Bible?
    don’t you wonder why we use them?
    and where they came from?

    Isn’t it challenge enough understanding?
    the truth of the words that are written?
    How much harder word’s that we make up?

    Doesn’t the Bible warn us about;

    The commandments of men?

    The doctrines of men?

    The philosophies of men?

    The traditions of men
    that make the Word of God
    of non effect?

    Making the word of God of none effect
    through your tradition…
    Mark 7:13

    Hmmm? A simple word, church?
    What do most people understand
    the word “church” to mean?

    Building with a steeple?
    Is that in the Bible?

    Pastor in a pulpit preaching to people in pews?
    Is that in the Bible?

    That’s what the world thinks, the unbeliever, isn’t it?

    Isn’t that what the so called “local church”
    has accomplished with four buildings on
    four corners in a lot of “local towns?”

    Haven’t we deceived the people
    we’re supposed to be reaching out to?

    Does the world, the unbeliever, know that “The Church of God” is -

    The people of God?

    The habitation of God? Where He dwells?

    The redeemed of the Lord? By His blood.

    The body of Christ? Purchased with His blood.

    The Israel of God?

    And Jesus is the head of the body, the church?

    Does God dwell in buildings made with
    the hands of men? Or does He dwell in us?

    Did Jesus shed His blood for;
    a building, a denomination,
    an institution, an organization, a corporation?

    Should we call a corporation, “The Church?”

    Will people know that “The Church of God?”

    Are kings and priests unto God?

    The bride of Christ?

    The servants of Christ?

    The sons of God?
    Led by the spirit? Or led by man?

    Disciples of Christ?
    Learners and students of Christ?

    Ambassadors for Christ?

    How many will know, in the Bible,
    no one ever went to church?

    How many will know, in the Bible,
    you become “the Church?”
    And hear His voice? And follow Him?

    Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice,
    that he might instruct thee.
    Deuteronomy 4:36

    Church? Hmmm?

    I will build my church

    the Lord added to the church

    great fear came upon all the church

    great persecution against the church

    Saul, he made havock of the church,
    entering into every house

    they assembled themselves with the church

    Herod the king stretched forth his hands
    to vex certain of the church

    and had gathered the church together

    And being brought on their way by the church

    they were received of the church

    set them to judge who are least esteemed
    in the church. Hmmm? Must be a misprint?

    If therefore the whole church
    be come together into one place

    Christ is the head of the church

    Christ also loved the church,
    and gave himself for it

    feed the church of God,
    which he hath purchased
    with his own blood

    gave him to be the head
    over all things to the church

    the church is subject unto Christ

    he is the head of the body, the church

    And other sheep I have,
    which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring,
    and they shall hear my voice;
    and there shall be one fold,
    and one shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice.

    If Not Now, When?

    In His Service. By His Grace.

  9. Oct 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I love that THE CHURCH is starting to break the Sunday Morning “classroom” mentality and we are bridging into the “workforce of God” in the REAL world.

    It reminds me when I was little we would “play” school in our exclusive “GIRL” clubhouse…(I was the teacher of course ha!) and we had fun “playing” but it was not REALLY school. Seriously, if we were going to grow on what I was teaching or what we knew..BAH.. we would have only graduated in silly putty, shrinky dinks, and wonder woman (yes I am showing my age).. I think the same is true with church if we “PLAY” church and try to keep Church in a Preschool(Man made) clubhouse…we are fooling ourselves…We need so much more of God and so much less of us….running the show.

  10. 10Nate
    Oct 8, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I love that the church is finally becoming a “hospital for the sick” and not a “retirement home for the saints.” Jesus, himself, said that he did not come for the healthy but for the sick.

    Craig, I just wanted to personally thank you for the vision that you have and are living out every day. I am a passionate follower of Christ, but I struggle just like everyone else and I always need the daily encouragement to keep on going. In addition to my church family (which coincidently is called LifeChurch), your podcast and blog have been a huge part of that. You had a vision from God and you followed it and I just want to say thank you for that. It is making a difference in my life as well as many others.

  11. Oct 8, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Vielen Dank für diesen Vorschlag. Ich schicke Dir einen Gruß aus Deutschland.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I send you regards from Germany.

  12. 12Ron
    Oct 8, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Amos, to answer your question:

    “Johm to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Rev.4) is one example of the “local” church. The NT is full of others examples as weel. Yes, the word “local” church does not appear in the Bible, but I must point out that the word KJV doesn’t appear in the Bible either. In fact, the word BIBLE does not even appear in the Bible!

  13. Oct 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    If Christ Loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25) - I just want to be like Him in any way possible.

  14. 14Ron
    Oct 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    It is one of the ways God meets some of my deepest needs. My friends are there. Brothers and sisters in the Christ are there. We share a “like precious faith.” We do life together, share one another’s burdens, and rejoice in one another’s victories. On and on I could go, but you get the idea.

  15. Oct 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    [...] Craig Groeschel on the local church is TRUTH! - John Piper on “Real choice, divine sway, and the way Paul lived.” - Perry [...]

  16. Oct 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I love that many are beginning to see “church” as the people of God and not whatever building they meet in on a Sunday morning.

    I love that the church is waking up to the importance of wholistic redemption and not just swinging to one side or the other (hope for the next life or hope for this one).

  17. Oct 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Craig I have to admit that I was a little offended by your comment in relation to parachurch organisations.

    In my experience where I live in Austrlaia it’s the parachurch orgs that have been making a difference and inspiring and uniting the local churches into action!

    I agree that the local church is the hope of the world, no question but to be honest parachurch orgs have done more to shape my faith than any church i’ve attended in my entire life! They have been more of a true expression of ‘the Church’ because they arent hung up on their own needs/denominational bents etc and have simply got out there with the Gospel message and made a difference in people’s lives. They arent afraid to network and work across many churches and dont let ‘people pleasing’ get in the way of God’s mission. I’m yet to find a ‘local church’ where I live with this much drive and commitment to getting God’s work done…

    I just think you were a little dismissive of parachurch orgs, I know that wasnt your intent but i wanted to flag it here.

    Cheers

  18. Oct 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I love that the church is beginning to see past the divides of denominational, physical, and ethnic lines. The commonality of Christ’s love for the world is continuing to unite amidst one of Satan’s best efforts- dividing the church.

  19. Oct 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    I love that the church is getting past being about a building. It never was about a building. I love that people are seeing that they are the Church.

  20. Oct 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I love that the Church is being formed into the image of Christ as we grow in community, family, faith, service, worship, discipleship, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom!

  21. Oct 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I love my church because our church knows we aren’t ‘there’ yet (whatever that means) but it does allow space for others who feel broken, inperfect to find perfection in Christ.

    I love that my church uses my gifts to build it. Awesome!

    I love that my church is my church. I can’t think of anywhere else I would choose to give, connect, serve, worship than there.

  22. 22Bev Murrill
    Oct 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I LOVE THE CHURCH. IT CAN BE THE CARRIER OF GOD’S HEART FOR THE WORLD. DESPITE ITS DESPERATE WEAKNESSES AND BROKENNESS, GOD USES US AND LET’S US HELP HIM. THANK GOD FOR THAT.

    TODAY’S CHURCH
    BEV MURRILL

    Today’s church is not only a family; it’s also an ARMY! A battalion whose heart cry is for her neighbour, whether they live next door or in the next suburb or in the uttermost parts of the world!

    Today’s church has ears that are tuned to hear the sound of the battle cry trumpeting through the land, calling forth a people who have willingly beaten their ploughshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears.

    Today’s church is alive and vital, sensing the battle ahead and CHOOSING to go forward, no longer allowing fear of man or fear of failure to cause her to shrink back!

    Today’s church does not hide behind her songs of praise and her good works, but with all her heart reaches up toward God and with all her strength reaches out to the people He weeps for.

    Today’s church tucks up her royal robes of righteousness and kneels to wash broken feet that have trodden out the grapes of wrath in a society that has become numb to the horror of its own sin.

    Today’s church takes off her own cloak to wrap around the poverty and brokenness of a world where desperation has plumbed the deepest reaches of darkness.

    Today’s church refuses to sit fat and swollen with spiritual and social riches, but uses her own money and resources to feed the children of the damned and bind up their wounds.

    Today’s church understands that we don’t reap to keep, but to sow into others that which has been freely given to us.

    Today’s church knows that the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous has great power to impact the spiritual realm.

    Today’s church has salvation as her walls, and her gates are praise.

    Today’s church knows what it is to be down but not out, cast down but not destroyed, overwhelmed but not in retreat.

    Today’s church is a people who have forgotten the things that lie behind; so busy are they with reaching forward to the future. They’re pressing toward their goal, the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Today’s church, though pummelled by the stones and arrows of friendly and unfriendly fire, still respond with cheerful forgiveness.

    Today’s church has an eternal battle cry - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall never die, but have everlasting life.

    Today’s church is a people who willingly lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets them, to run with perseverance the race set before them.

    Today’s church desires above everything else to know Jesus Christ and the power of His death and resurrection, understanding that this will be coupled with the fellowship of His suffering. They’re willing to be conformed to His death… and many in Today’s church will meet death for the sake of the gospel!!

    Today’s church knows what it is to be satisfied by a relationship with the Father to a degree that defies and dissolves every other hunger and thirst.

    Today’s church rises like an eagle on the thermals of the Holy Spirit, to be renewed, refreshed and recharged by the power of God at work in her.

    Today’s church, though rained upon with many blows, stands with armour undented and untarnished because the weapons of her warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to pull down strongholds

    Today’s church knows that it’s not over until it’s over.

    Today’s church refuses to wallow in the lukewarm bath of defeat, discouragement and despair, but rises again and again with the victory cry of Jesus on her lips.

    Today’s church will never join the accuser of the brethren as he points the finger of judgment, criticism and complaint at those who pour out their life serving God, even when they don’t understand that way of serving.

    Today’s church is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing that it is the power of God unto salvation.

    Today’s church is a rich and multi faceted organism made up of millions of people spread across time, space, culture and race, who publicly displays to the works of darkness the pure and unadulterated wisdom of God.

    And despite the things we fear must disqualify us…too old to be of use, too young to have experience; despite our weaknesses, our problems and our pain… people of God… we are Today’s church!

    Bev Murrill
    Christian Growth International Chelmsford UK

  23. Oct 13, 2009 at 2:26 am

    I love the church and the music that is being played their. It inspires me a lot and it also enlightens me whenever I am troubled.

  24. Oct 20, 2009 at 12:16 am

    [...] Link to original article in Uncategorized. Feed for this Entry Trackback Address [...]

  25. Oct 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    [...] Craig Groeschel,  I love The Church [...]

  26. 26Joseph Williams
    Oct 28, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I Love the church but not as much as Christ for he gave himself for it. I am so disheartened on the other hand that Christ church is being sucked into the world and given some new identity that is unlike anything that resembles Christ but rather conforming to the image of this world.Churches have stopped going and started attracting. When Christ built his church on this earth even though he preached to thousands only 120 were in the upper room at the end .Why? Because they were not willing to be part of the sufferings of Christ. Christ said speaking to his church “marvel not if the world hate you for it hated me before it hated you. ” The world will naturally hate the church if she truly speaks the truth but none the less the truth is what they must hear not fables as so many today seek after.” The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us that believe it is the power of God unto salvation.” “Unto Him be glory in the church world without end”!!!

  27. 27Greg
    Nov 9, 2009 at 12:32 am

    I see no difference in “parachurch ministries” and the “local church” as long as we define “church” as followers of christ being obedient to love god and love people. As we look to the early churches it is obvious the need we have for what one might call parachurch ministries as we look to Paul and his influence throughout the region. Paul was not a church but had incredible impact, likewise Jesus’ ministry revolutionized the world and looked much more like a parachurch ministry than the local church. I think both are needed along with believers in the market place and as Paul says in Corinthians we are “one body with many parts”.