Why should you consider joining Covenant Presbyterian Church?
After all, you may already believe that Jesus is your Savior and be content not to have ties to any church. You may even prefer that. Or maybe you’re not sure about joining a small church. Whatever your reasons, we’re glad you’re asking this question, or at last open to thinking about it.
Why join any church? All people who believe in Jesus and love him as their Lord and Savior ought to join and love a local church, for at least these three reasons:
1) Christ loves his church, including each local church that is part of it.
People sometimes speak lovingly about the church as a whole, but have no use for local churches. That’s not what we see in the Bible. As one author claims, throughout Scripture “the universal church is locally and visibly expressed in individual church fellowships.” For instance, in Acts 20 the Apostle Paul commanded the elders of the church in Ephesus to pay careful attention to themselves and to the flock in which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers. Then Paul gave this reason: Christ had obtained the church of God with his blood. Jesus Christ loved his church that much, and thus Paul called those elders to think and act accordingly toward the portion of Christ’s flock under their care. Fast-forward 2000 years, and we must value local churches no less. They matter, because Christ loves his church, and that includes each part of it. (See also Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Th 1:1.)
2) Christ has chosen to use his church.
People sometimes point out flaws in churches to explain why they want nothing to do with a local church. To a degree they’re right—no church is perfect. In fact, some churches are dysfunctional. Others don’t even deserve to be called churches because they do not believe in or proclaim Jesus Christ as the only Savior for sinners. That said, Jesus Christ has chosen to work through his church. Through them he brings people to a saving knowledge of himself and builds them up in maturity (Eph 4:11-14). One way he does this is through the work of the leaders of the church, to whom members are called to submit, “for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account” (Heb 13:17).
3) Christians need each other.
This relates closely to the previous reason. Here’s a little illustration: a man from New Jersey was visiting the South for the first time. At a restaurant his first morning, he noticed that most of the meals on the breakfast menu came with grits. Curious, he asked the waitress, “Miss, what is a grit?” She replied, “Honey, they don’t come by themselves!”
With the rare exception, Christians are like that. Jesus often uses other believers to teach us about him at the beginning of our new life as Christians, and he continues to use them to sustain and mature us. To put it simply, Christian community matters. It’s not for nothing that the author to the Hebrews wrote, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:24-25; see also 1 Cor 12:12-27; Eph 4:15-16).
Why join a small church? By and large, we like big things these days. The bigger, the better. So perhaps you’re wondering why you should consider joining a small church, as opposed to a church with hundreds or thousands of members. Here are three reasons:
1) A small church matters to Jesus Christ no less than a big church.
Do we have any reason to believe that Jesus thinks less of small churches? No! With few exceptions, all churches start small, and some stay that way for years for various reasons. But they all matter. In fact, God sometimes uses weak and small things specifically to show forth his power and glory! (See Judg 7:2; 1 Cor 1:27-29; 2 Cor 12:9-10.)
2) A small church has some distinct advantages.
This isn’t to bash big churches, but small churches typically do certain things better. For instance, small churches often have closer fellowship (big churches recognize this and try to compensate with small groups). That is a big advantage in this lonely world, where each of us often feels like a number.
On a related note, small churches typically will stretch you more. You will have a larger variety of opportunities to serve. God may thus develop you in ways you might never have expected. In a small church you will also rub shoulders with kinds of people you might normally overlook or never talk to in a big church. In a small church you will grow to know them and, Lord willing, love them as brothers and sisters in Christ. You simply cannot escape relationships in a small church, and that’s a good thing for many of us, who need the added incentive if we are going to grow in Christlikeness.
3) A small church needs you.
Do you want to feel wanted and needed? Join a small church. A big church doesn’t need you like a small church does. Two or three new joyful, servant-hearted believers may not make much of a difference in a church of a thousand, but they will in a church of a few dozen. Your skills are needed in a small church. Your support is needed in a small church. Your perspective and personality and encouragement are needed in a small church. In short, YOU are needed in a small church, to a different degree than you are in a big church. So don’t write off small churches—Christ may intend to use you mightily in such a church.
Why join this church (Covenant Presbyterian Church)?
1) This church is about the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Every organization is “about” something. This church is about the gospel of Jesus Christ, our once crucified and now risen Lord and Savior. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is “the founder and perfecter of our faith,” and that we as a body exist to proclaim “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (Heb 12:2; John 20:31; See also Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). Maybe this goes reason goes without saying in your mind, but we think it’s a big deal and needs to be stated right up front. We want people to join, first and foremost, because they believe in Jesus Christ and want to belong to a church that is about his gospel.
2) This church seeks to equip you for life rather than take over your life.
Some people want churches that will keep them and especially their children hopping from one program to the next. We’re not that kind of church. We can’t be, and we don’t want to be. We believe that it is vital that we gather to be fed, encouraged, and equipped Sunday after Sunday. Furthermore, we are committed to looking out for opportunities to bless each other during the week, whether through hospitality or small Bible study groups or occasional church events. That said, we do not want to fill every member’s calendar with endless programs to juggle. All in all, you might say we focus more on people than programs.
3) This church is a motley gathering of believers that welcomes still more.
If you spend any amount of time with us, you’ll find out that we are a motley bunch. We all have different backgrounds, ethnicities, interests, and personalities. Even without meeting you, it’s probably safe to say you’d fit in just fine. What unites us is faith in Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Lord, and if you believe in him we heartily welcome you to seek membership in Covenant Presbyterian Church.