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Why Church? Why Is Connection So Important?

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This morning Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series "Why Church?" by focusing on why Connection is so important, looking at Ephesians 2:13-22.

[First, he did a commercial for an effort we'll be doing this year called "Deeper Higher."  We will be reading through the New Testament together, using a one-page daily devotional along with it.]

Last week, we learned that our character is a community project.  We are concentrating on building connections.

Why is connection so important?  We read Ephesians 2:13-22

Don't Miss This Principle #1:

Our connection to one another is a central part of God's purpose through Christ.

The central idea of Ephesians is unity, connection, community.  We need to be reminded of our need for connection and our calling to connection.

Notice what Paul asserts here:

Bringing unity to relationships is part of what God did through the cross.

This has always been God's purpose -- the cross was the high point.

In Jesus' prayer before his death, given in John 17, Jesus prays for us.  What does he pray for?  For unity.  "That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you."

The most important issue to Jesus was that we would be one.

Don't Miss This Principle #2:

Our connection to one another is fundamental to who we are.

See verses 19-22.  Together, WE are God's temple.

You don't have Christianity if you don't have WE.

We're like an atom -- not like a lone electron spinning around Jesus.

Connection is fundamental to who we are -- especially as followers of Christ.

I'm in Christ.  Because of that, I'm in community.

What if God's main purpose in having me in NoVa isn't my job or home -- but my connections?

Church isn't a building.  It's a network of connections between people who love and follow Christ.

We all have a church.  (Your family is the most important part of your church.)  Is it a God-honoring one?

Because of this, we plead with you:  Step in!

Let Gateway Community Church feel the whole weight of you.  Even your weirdness or hardness or faults.

We're becoming a dwelling in which God lives.  When we get together, God's Spirit is here.

Connect - Through the Church

On Sunday, October 29, 2017, we began the service with a report from Ina York, our missionary in Cercadillo, in the Dominican Republic.  Gateway will be bringing two teams to help her ministry this summer.  

Ina talked about how God called her to Cercadillo, and how God is working in lives there.

Then Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series, "Connect."  This week he looked at how the church helps us connect.

For a light bulb to really be what it's meant to be, it must shed light.  In order to shed light, it must be connected to a power source and connected to a mechanism to turn it on.

For us, that mechanism to turn us on is a relationship network bigger than your family.  You need a church.

What is a church?

To answer this question, we looked at Jesus' words in Matthew 16:13-20.

Jesus is after lovers, not "likes."

Jesus asked what people think of him.  But then he said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."  He's making a big claim.

A church is a gathering of those who have been called by God.

The word means "called-out ones."  The church is not a building, not an institution, not an organization.

Jesus builds the church.

Jesus gave Peter the name "Rocky."  He's saying this is what it's all about.  It's not about Peter - Jesus builds the church.  

If you're connecting to this church, you're here because Jesus is drawing you here.

The church will be built.

Despite circumstances.  Churches in China and Africa right now are seeing explosive growth.  Persecution doesn't stop the church.

Fellow light bulbs, what do you need to do to strengthen your connection to the network?

Be forewarned, at Gateway we'll make it as hard as possible for you to sit and do nothing.  We want you to shine!