What This Community Needs
If you ask the civic leaders of Somerset what they perceive to be the greatest needs of this community, they would probably say better education, fire and police protection, medical facilities, or more jobs.
One of the greatest needs of this community is a strong church. The strength of such a church is not based upon how many members the church has, the size of the building, the number of programs the church provides, or the amount of money in the treasury.
A strong church is based upon an unashamed respect for Bible authority.
This community needs a church which holds the Bible as their doctrine and guide. Every member of that church needs to believe in “whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Col 3:17). This attitude should exist because God’s will is sufficient and perfect in every way. It provides man with the direction for his daily walk of life (James 1:25; 2 Peter 1:3,4). The Bible gives the collective body, the church a pattern for work, worship, name, and organization. This is the position of the church at Southside. Therefore, we do not mind being questioned by others about why we do what we do (1 Peter 3:15). Does the church where you attend hold an unashamed respect for the whole counsel of God?
A strong church uses Biblically authorized methods.
What do you do to get people interested in religion? How do you motivate people to attend church services? What can be done to convert more people to Jesus Christ? Oftentimes a church answers these questions by going to extremes - going “beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6).
Some churches try to bring in the masses by creating a chain prayer, choral groups, youth rallies, fellowship meals, etc. Can a church in this community not do it the Lord’s way? Is our current method and practice of ‘bringing numbers to Christ” under consideration in the Word of God? Only those things found in the Bible can truly be done “in the name of the Lord” (Colossians 3:17).
Either the gospel of the Son of God is His power to save or it isn’t! Romans 1:16 says it is. We do not need a “special incentive plan”, gimmicks, or programs. This community needs a church that is not ashamed to use only Biblical authorized methods to convert and edify its members (2 Tim. 3:16).
A strong church believes and practices faithfulness.
This community, like any other community, does not like hypocrisy or false impressions of religion. God relies upon us all the time to be devoted to His kingdom and the activities of His kingdom. This community needs to see that in all Christians.
Faithfulness is more than saying “I attend the Southside Church of Christ”. Faithfulness is an action of faith. It is never passive. Faith attends to the desires of God in all things. It knows what God wants, because he is directed by God’s word (Romans 10:17). The words which summarize our faithfulness are obedience, abiding, steadfast, diligence, continuing, and submission. If the world sees a Christian of this church prefer other things than God’s things, they will not be impressed.
If we believe in the worship of God, we should attend His worship. If we believe in the teaching of God, we should participate in the study of His word. If we believe in conviction, we should stand upon the foundation of authority. It is important for the church in this community to count-on-able! Be devoted! Be trustworthy! Attend to what you believe.
A strong church teaches the truth to believers and unbelievers.
The New Testament is replete with examples of a church teaching converts or teaching to convert others. Why is that? It is because the gospel is for all. It is neither mine nor yours to hoard. It was an eternal plan for the church to make known “the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10). And the reason His wisdom needs to be known among all men is because the wisdom of the world is not strong enough to handle the issues of life (1 Corinthians 1:25-29).
Man’s “cure-all” is not in a bunch of self-help books from depression to alcohol to abuse to bankruptcy. The need for all men is “the way, the truth, and the life” - Jesus Christ (John 14:6). This is the man who not only saves, but He keeps the saved saved.
In order for this community to know about the Lord, we need to be committed to people. Teaching is about people. Love is about wanting to help people. People have problems, and the church knows the Person to help them with their problems.!.!
The strength of the church in this community rests upon “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). It is the truth of God to set us free (John 8:32) from the bondage of sin. It is the truth we teach and the truth we practice. This is church the Southside Church of Christ strives to be.