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Part of Something Bigger: God’s Plan for the Church

April 6, 2021

By God’s grace, we are once again gathering in our worship center at Stonebridge Church. For most of us, this comes after nearly eight months of displacement due to the damage caused by the derecho last August. For some of us, it will be just over a year, after being displaced by the COVID shutdown in March 2020. And for still some of us, it will be even longer, as we wait to reunite in person until the pandemic has receded further.

Any way you look at it, that’s a long season of disruption. It’s a long time to feel detached and displaced. For ministries to be sidelined. For relationships to feel distant. To feel stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for some semblance of “normal” to return.

And while there is much joy in reuniting in the space God has given us for making much of him, it’s also a good opportunity to step back and remember who we are, what we’re called to, and what it actually means to be the church.

After all, we all know that the church is not a building; it’s the people of God in Christ. And we know that God does not waste trials like the last twelve months, but uses them to form and refine his people. Getting “back to normal” isn’t really the goal—rather, it’s growing up in Christ. And through this season of disruption, the Lord has given us an opportunity to be reminded that being the church means being part of something bigger.

Bigger than me—my aims, my needs, my desires and ambitions. Bigger than this fallen world, with all its passions and promises. Bigger even than anything we can see, as God displays his manifold wisdom in the heavenly places through the church (cf. Eph. 3:10). Being the church means being part of God’s plan of redemption for this world. An extraordinary plan that our extraordinary God works out through very ordinary people sharing life through the regular rhythms and commitments of the local church.

Church is not just something we go to; it’s who we are. And it is how Christ is making himself known to us and to the world. So join us this spring as we learn and remember together the joyful and sacred privilege of being part of something bigger—God’s plan for the local church.

  • April 11: “What Is the Church?” (Eph. 5:22-32)
  • April 18: “What Is the Mission of the Church?” (Matt. 28:16-20)
  • April 25: “What Is Worship For?” (Col. 3:14-17)
  • May 2: “How Does the Church Share Life?” (Acts 2:42-47)
  • May 9: “How Does the Church Grow?” (2 Tim. 2:1-7)
  • May 16: “How Does the Church Grow? (Part Two)” (Eph. 4:15-16)
  • May 23: “Why Does Membership Matter?” (1 Cor. 12:12-26)
  • May 30: “How Is the Church Lead?” (1 Pet. 5:1-4)
  • June 6: “How Do We Guard Our Witness?” (Matt. 18:15-20)
  • June 13: “What Are the Sacraments For?” (1 Cor. 11:23-26; 12:12-13)
  • June 20: “How Do We Love Our Neighbors?” (Matt. 22:34-40)
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