The Local Church: Helping You Grow Up

. . . so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Ephesians 4:14)

Hope, my two year old, is constantly on to new things. It is not uncommon for her to climb up on my lap with a book, signaling for me to read to her. It is also not uncommon for her to climb down from my lap when I’m not even halfway through, only to get a different book or be entertained by something else that caught her eye. She is distractible, even when I pour myself into engaging her with a semi-theatrical portrayal of the book’s content, attributing different animated voice inflections to different characters. This can be disheartening for the performer (me).

However, I must remind myself that this is normal activity for a two year old. She is trying to get her hands into everything to figure it out, beginning to process the world around her.

With the mature it is different. They have trained their faculties to be focused, to go in one direction. Christians that are tossed to and fro in multiple different directions, like a two year old constantly being distracted by something more colorful, will struggle to be directional enough to make an impact as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God.

When contrary doctrinal winds try to throw us off course, the ministry of the local church serves to focus us on what is important. The gospel. We are all in need of teaching, shepherding, and accountability to stay on track. By ourselves we are too easily deceived and distracted from the thing in life that is of first importance.

The local church is a stabilizing and protective force. It helps us to grow up so that we can move steadily in one direction, the right direction, bearing gospel fruit with our lives.

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HT: Desiring God