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5 Reasons I’m Grateful for the Local Church

I love my church where I serve, but I’m also very grateful for the local church in general. In all its beauty and flaws, I can’t imagine culture surviving without it.

Amidst the pressures and problems leaders face, I’ve written this post as an encouraging reminder to all of us who serve in a local church. A reminder that even on the tough days, there is no greater privilege. And even in the difficult seasons, there is no greater joy.

Perhaps this may serve you in your private devotions or a public message you need to deliver soon!

The points in the article are an expression of my personal thankfulness for the local church, but it’s based on a foundation of scripture. There is much I could choose, but two of my favorites are in the book of Ephesians.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Ephesians 3:10-12

Why I’m Grateful:

1) The church, through Jesus Christ, is the hope of the world.

Jesus became my welcomed Savior when I was a senior in high school. My life was changed and God immediately re-charted my course to a life ministry as a volunteer. By the time I was graduating from college and pursuing a career in criminal justice as a private investigator, God soon refined my call to vocational ministry. My perspective in life, my purpose and my hope in the future radically changed.

This is my personal story, and Jesus provides salvation, purpose and hope for everyone who will say yes to Him. My gratitude is great toward The Father who would give His Son that I, we, might have eternal life. The local church is God’s chosen plan for redemption!

2) The church gives more than it takes.

The local church is the only organization I know that will provide all that it offers, for free, for anyone, for as long as they want. You do not have to pay to receive what the church has to offer. That is amazing.

The church is the body of Christ (the people) and they freely give so that others may receive the good news of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for the bride of Christ! I serve alongside some of the most amazing, generous and selfless Christians I’ve ever known at 12Stone Church. They give so much of themselves so that we may reach the lost, care for the least and raise up leaders for the next generation to have a brighter future.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.