Late one night, I saw this church sign while driving home after running an errand for my wife. I have been obsessed with church message boards for quite some time. This one in particular caught my eye because my initial reaction was to laugh. Who thinks of the church as a gang. Let’s think about the true nature of gang. A gang for many is the only ideal community some have access to. As Christians we are called to be a part of a local community. Why do Christians need to join the gang? Christians are to be in fellowship with other believers in order for us to grow closer to God.
As Christians we need other Christians in order to grow closer to God. Proverbs 27:17 says:
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend. NLT
We need one another to grow closer to God. Believers being together can promote one another to good works, encourage each other, and to hold each other accountable. These things not only allow us to grow closer to God, but they allow us to be salt and light in the world.
Jesus in Matthew chapter 5 challenged all Christians to make an impact in our world. This is one of the reasons why He created the church. He saw first hand the destruction sin had brought to the world. He saw first hand how people would use the name of His Father to control others and profit themselves. He wanted His followers to be different. He created the church as a vehicle to show the world what godliness is all about. The gang He created was designed to make the world better, and to show humanity the love of God.
The gang was created to bring Christians together and to make the world a better place. The ideal community a Christian has access to is the church. If we do not take advantage of the ideal community, then we will miss out on God’s plan for our lives. While the church is the ideal community; it is far from the perfect community. Find a place where you fit in best and can serve the most. If you have to choose between the two: pick service over fellowship. The later will come latter. Service is one of the best ways to sharpen yourself.
P.S. In light of thinking of the church as a gang, I just had to share a chart of church “gang signs.” This little number has been floating around the internet for a few weeks now, and I thought it was relevant.