What Good is the Church?

The church in America doesn't exactly have a great reputation. Whether it be abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church, Televangelists milking the poor so they can buy the private jet they "require" for their ministry, or Evangelical leaders whose power goes to their heads (not to mention her past sins) our culture has some valid reasons to question the value of the Church.
Questions naturally start to arise...
"Do I really NEED the church to be a good person?"
"Do I really NEED the church to worship God?"
"Do I really NEED the church to make a difference in the world?"
"Doesn't the church do more harm than good?"
Before we make your case on behalf of the church we need to pause and realize that these are the actual questions our culture is asking. If we don't take a good, hard, honest look at them, then we will never be able to speak meaningfully. 
I am in love with the body of Christ, I love the church, but I also have been hurt by the church, my family has been hurt by the church, both church people and the capitol "C" church. So what value does a church that can inflict such pain have for the world? What role can an ancient church have in an increasingly post-christian culture like the one we live in. What good is the church?
In this 6 week series, we will walk straight through Paul's letter to the church in 1st century Ephesus. They were a church that sat smack dab in the middle of a diverse culture, specifically a city whose primary economy was based on the worship of the fertility godess Artemis. By looking at the value the Church brought to Ephesus, we can begin to reflect on the true value the church has in our culture.
Let's be in prayer that Spirit will guide us to ask the hard questions, the questions that help us to weed out that which doesn't belong in the body of Christ and lift up that which makes the church uniquely valuable. May we conclude this series more in love with the true church and less in love with those parts that have left us blemished and ashamed.

Ryan Rovito

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