Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 30, 2006, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

A community of followers

By Rev. Steve Thorson, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato

Why “church?” Isn’t a personal relationship with Jesus enough?

Not if we accept what the Bible has to say about Jesus.

Jesus gathered a community of followers. He expected those followers to stick together at first, and then to go out and gather more.

Never did Jesus want his people to just have a personal relationship with him, alone. That relationship always involved others.

It’s dangerous to be a Christian alone. Isolated believers become prey to deadly spiritual forces and poisonous spiritual ideas.

Yes, God will protect us, but he protects us mostly through communities who hear the preaching of God’s Word and receive the gifts of the Lord’s Supper.

God gathers people. When we gather to hear and believe God’s Word, we find the key to a healthy spiritual life, that is, to love all those other people who aren’t always so loveable (1 John 4:20).

This unmasks the demons within, among, and around us. As God’s Word works among us, we become humble, loving, and bold.

I am really enjoying my first months in the Cokato-Dassel area. I am praying that each and every citizen of our area will find a welcome place to hear God’s Word and share in the Lord’s Supper.

I am praying that those of us who already have church families will be passionate disciples, doing all we can to leave no one alone.

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