February 2009

  from Pastor Blain  

Urging All of Us To Come Back Sunday Nights,
To Study the Book, Stop Dating the Church, Together

Stop Dating the Church has been selected for our Church because the author’s work when internalized ignites a passion for the Church that comes from the Spirit.  Don’t let the title of this book fool you.  Although “church hopping” is discussed, the theme of the book is that we possess and need to tap into the passionate love that Christ has for the Church which is our Lord’s beloved “bride”.

It is only with this passionate love that we will give Community Church the proper priority that the Lord requires of us.  It is only with this divine zeal that we will be able to obey the many commands in Scripture to fulfill the pivotal role which the Lord has ordained for each of us for the welfare of Community Church.  It is only when we are together striving and toiling in the Spirit’s power that Community Church can be what God has called her to be in the SYV, [see Phil 1:27].

Because of the blood of Christ, on the day when God judges His believers each of us will be protected from all condemnation, Rom 8:1.  However, as God’s children we will face a judgment in which we either suffer gain or loss of reward.  The Lord will evaluate each of us according to how we lived as His slaves, as spouses, as parents, as children, as neighbors, as employees, and as friends, [every area of responsibility and opportunity for service that God has granted to us]. 

Because Community Church is Christ’s beloved bride [as is every Church within His body], in a very critical way our lives will also be scrutinized by our all-knowing God to the extent that we were what God called us to be within His beloved Church.  We will either be rewarded for building on the formation of Christ with that which will burn-“wood, hay, straw”, or that which will survive God’s judgment-“gold, silver, and precious stones”.  Given the passion Christ has for His Church, we will either experience great reward or suffer extensive loss of reward depending on the quality and extent of our service toward His beloved Church.  For an examination of this judgment, study 1 Cor 3:10-16. 

Scripture makes it clear that we are all unique members within the body of Christ.  Some of us are “hands”, some of us are “feet”, some of us are “ears”, and so on, see 1 Cor 12.  Each of us is to discern the different role that God has called us to fulfill within the Church.  Our diverse and indispensable role is due to our diversity.  We are all at different levels in terms of spiritual maturity.  Each of us has been given unique spiritual gifts.  But there is no doubt that the Church is to build itself up in love by having each member play his or her uniquely, divinely assigned role within our local assembly.  As Paul stated in Eph 4:16 –“according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

Stop Dating The Church has been chosen for various reasons: 

1.                   It is based entirely on Scripture.

2.                   It is appropriate for 12 year olds and those in their “golden” years.

3.                   It is fun to read.  But the truths taught are profound.

4.                   It is well written.  It is written concisely.  It is clearly written.

5.                   Most of us are very busy.  We will participate in open discussions as a congregation taking each chapter one week at a time.  Doing the weekly readings will be a joy and very reasonable for all of us.

6.                   Each member in our church needs to understand the accountability that each of us have before God for serving this Church and for giving Community Church the priority that is consistent with the love Christ has for His “bride”.

7.                   With each passing year, I realize increasingly that as a Pastor my judgment will in part include the extent to which I have clearly conveyed to each of you just how important this Church is to Jesus Christ.  The Lord wants you to find great joy in giving His sacred, local Church family the kind of priority, time, service, sacrifice, loyalty and protection, consistent with who she is in His heart.

8.                   I believe  that God will greatly encourage and mobilize our Church family as we gather each Sunday night and discuss together the principles that we learn in this winsome book.

9.                  Our culture has so many priorities competing urgently for our hearts. But Jesus Christ demands that each of us with His joy and through His power cause this Church to rise up like a phoenix to shine His light into the SYV.  All are needed for this sacred task.

10.               Nursery care and biographical lessons from Scripture’s heroes will be taught by Minal for children ages 5-11.  We will start at 6:00 and end at 7:00.  The new format allows younger kids to get to bed early before school.

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427