Should we remain in a church where God’s Word is faithfully preached yet there is little fellowship? Today, Harry Reeder encourages Christians to be part of the solution in building community.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We’re recording live from Ligonier’s 2022 National Conference and I’m joined by Dr. Harry Reeder, the senior minister of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Reeder, should a Christian stay in a solid church if they haven’t found any community there?
DR. HARRY REEDER: Well, I mean, obviously if you’re in an area that has a church that realizes that discipling Christians is not just informational but also relational—you want the fullness of informational and relational. But if you’re in a situation and here’s a church that’s solid, preaching, teaching, but there’s no community, I would not trade community for a deterioration of faithfulness to the text itself, but I would go to work in that church to help them build community and show them how important community actually is. I think while many people are drawn to the faith by belonging, the reality is, is once you hear the Word of God and believe, now that’s what gives you direction as to what community should be.
Now, if you have a church that just refuses to recognize the necessity of small group discipleship, large group worship, one-on-one discipleship, for a season or a reason, those mechanisms and means of relationally communicating the Word of God, then I think you go to the session and you make an appeal. But more than that, my guess is they’re not prohibiting community, so just start building community yourself. Get a small group going. If you’ve got a Sunday school, help the Sunday school start developing community. Start having some meals. Talk about the importance of hospitality in the Christian faith. All of those things.
I would not leave a solid church for a church with community but without biblical preaching. Now, I’d want both, but if I’m in one that’s got biblical preaching and I don’t have a choice of one with biblical preaching and community, then I’ll just start a building community in that church, and I would appeal to the elders to help us shepherd the flock, help us flock together.
What Is Christ-Centered Preaching?September 21, 2023
How Can I Talk to My Unbelieving Parents about the Gospel?September 14, 2023
What Should We Do If We Sense That We’re Becoming Calloused to a Particular Sin?September 07, 2023
Should Young People Study Theology?August 31, 2023
Is There Something Wrong with Me If I Don’t Feel God’s Presence in My Suffering?August 24, 2023