“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – I Corinthians 12:27
I often see that people do what is familiar and that is fine to a point. Most people attend worship services in a location convenient for them and I get that. In fact, the church building my family attends is only five miles from our home. We can be in a house of worship and fellowship in just a short 10-15 minute drive.
Although we say things like, ‘We are going to church, we attend church, there is an event at the church,’ I feel it is important to point out that is simply a shortened slang way of speaking the true intention, such as: ‘We are going to the place of worship, we attend a church service, there is an event at the church building.’ The fact is, the church is not a location, not a building, not an event, etc. The church is the people. It doesn’t matter where you meet. You could meet in a barn, outdoors, a restaurant, etc., and still have church (services).
In fact, Jesus himself said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20
My point is, I feel it is important to go beyond the boundaries of the church building you attend and meet other Christians. Fellowship with other members of the body. Show your children they are not alone in their faith but that there are others like them all over.
Nothing makes me happier than to hear my teenager talk about how she cannot wait to see a friend who attends church services at a different location. I try to take advantage of every fellowship opportunity I can find so my children can grow up knowing Christian children from outside our locale. Teenage and children events and activities are generally easy to find and many other church locations are usually willing and eager to participate. Some of our favorites have been:
- Teen Youth Rallies – An event where teens from several church locations gather in one place (rotating hosts) for an evening of fellowship and fun; generally once a month throughout the school season. This event usually includes a special theme, games, challenges, tasty treats, a guest speaker or musician and a large amount of goofiness!
- Local Christian Concerts – Many church locations host free or low-cost concerts with modern genre music styles that reinforce scripture. My family attends as many concerts as possible because it is an affordable way to spend time with each other, fellowship with other Christians, and reinforce God’s word. Our favorites have been the ‘Live the Difference’ concert in Pomeroy, OH, Winter Jam in Columbus, OH, and anywhere 64 to Grayson plays!
- Bible Bowl – This is a bible knowledge quiz team that meets to compete with other churches once a month throughout the school year. My daughter has developed friendships with teens from other church locations through this program, not to mention the amazing amount of scripture that is instilled in her throughout the season.
- Ohio Teens for Christ – This is basically a state-wide youth rally with a few extras thrown in such as a singing competition, preaching competition, a state-wide bible bowl competition, big concerts, workshops and more. I encourage you to visit their website to find out more about this amazing event at http://www.ohioteensforchrist.com/2014/
- Church Camp – Usually a week long summer camp with a common theme, lots of good food, outdoor activities, crafts, contests, games, and more. There are several church camps available, check with your local church (location) for one nearest you. Southeastern Ohio folks can check out the Ohio Valley Christian Assembly for more information at http://www.ovcacamp.com/.
- Retreats & Lockins – Overnight Youth Rallies or Mini-Camps.
- Field Trips to places such as the Creation Museum or local Christian Dramas.
- Vacation Bible School – A week long program geared toward younger school-aged children. Children usually gather for a few hours each evening to explore a common theme through skits, songs, snacks, games and a lesson while raising funds for a local charity or Christian mission.
The kids are not the only ones who can gather to learn and have fun in the name of Jesus. There are always plenty of events for adults as well, such as:
- Bible Conferences
- Ladies Aid
I truly feel it is important that Christians understand we are all one part of the complete body of Christ. When attending these events, we should not just huddle within the same group of believers. Get out there, meet others and make new friends; meet other Christians, fellowship with them and understand we are not so and so from Church A or Church B, but rather we are ONE Church. We are all part of the SAME body. We are all working toward the SAME goal; and we are all called to be disciples and work for the SAME savior.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-21
I want to hear from you!
Please comment below with what things you like to do to fellowship with other members of Christ’s body!
**This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **