Why would we want to come under the covering of a church? Because when we’re discussing House Rules, they don’t begin in the home. They begin in the church.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. – Ephesians 5.18-21, ESV
There’s where submission is used first. And the English Standard Version is right according to the Greek. Verses 18-21 go together. They are all one sentence in the Greek. Therefore submission starts in the church. Then we start talking about the home. Mutual submission begins in the church.
Ephesians 5 | Submission
I’m launching a series on the family at the beginning of 2020, based on a series of messages called House Rules. Consider this a teaser. Look for these new writings from Ephesians 5-6 starting next week. With my Theology and ministry background, coupled with my counseling and marriage and family experience, I hope this new series will be as fun for you to engage with as it has been for me to write. Enjoy this written excerpt from the first sermon, or listen to the whole message above.
If we don’t submit to Jesus Christ and to each other in the church, are we lost? That’s a big question, one that perhaps many people have asked. Here’s another question.
Have you ever heard of the “Dechurched”?
It means what it says, people who used to be in church, but are no longer in church. We can guess at a lot of reasons why.
Barna has been doing research for many years on the church, one of the most respected research groups. Traverse City is on the “Top 20 Most Dechurched Cities in America.”* We’re number 14.
I don’t know how to respond to that
Is there something wrong with our town?
Is something wrong with our churches? I know a lot of ministers here. I know they have good hearts. They’re striving to do everything they can to reach this city day and night.
Is there something wrong with our people? I begin to question the idea of structure and authority, and if we’re losing something. Have we lost something that is found in this passage? Are churches still providing that umbrella, that covering for people, that we need to provide? Can people come in and not only have a place to worship, but truly have sanctuary? I’m not talking about the part of church where we all sit and worship. I’m talking about peace . . . sanctuary. Are we providing it in town?
Or is it the people? Have we developed a culture because we’ve had so many churches spring up over the years? This church came from this church, and this one from that church, and this one from that one that came from that church. Back and forth all these churches are just swapping people like teams do at the baseball trade deadline. Are we contributing to a church culture of church hoppers in Traverse City?
Many churches. No commitment.
What is the issue? I think that in my conversations with people who are “dechurched” in this region, over the 6 years that I’ve been here, I’ve realized that in this particular region most people who are dechurched are just hurt.
They’re just hurt and they need a place to heal. They don’t need the politics of church. They just need the beautiful authority of the Kingdom of God to straighten out their life and call their life back into order, call their homes into order, and to minister the Gospel of healing to their lives.
For the rest of the message listen or watch the podcast above.
I hope you enjoyed this written excerpt,
Pastor: Long Lake Friends Church
Supervised Therapist: Individuals, Couples, and Families
Traverse City, MI
JC Ingle, Inc.
* Barna, “Church Attendance Trends Around the Country,” Barna Group: Cities and States, May 26, 2017, https://www.barna.com/research/church-attendance-trends-around-country/
photo: Per Akvist | from Addis Ababa Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year | 12.23.16 | used with permission
JC Ingle, Inc.