Have you ever jumped out of a plane or went white water rafting with a guide? There are things in this life that are inherently dangerous and when we engage in them, we often go through a safety class where we get instruction and are required to sign an “if I die” release form. A parachute company or a rafting company wants you to enjoy their event to its fullest and live to tell the tale. It wouldn’t be wise to buy a ticket on a major airline and board the plane, fly up to 20,000 ft., go over and open the door, and jump with a homemade parachute. You also don’t want to buy a raft at Walmart then jump in a river with class V rapids and hope for the best. In the same way, why would you try to follow Christ on your own?
Mercy Hill has two plumblines that penetrate our Assimilation ministry. The first is, “The gospel changes everything,” and the second is, “The church is God’s plan A, and there is no plan B.” A follower of Christ understands that the gospel changes everything about us; it shows our need for a savior and that we need help to get through this life. We need to walk through this world in community and to live on mission—which is exactly how God has designed the church.
Don’t Go It Alone
For a believer to think that they can follow Christ alone and handle the tumultuous waves of the Christian life is insanity! God has given a clear mandate to be a part of his church in Hebrews 10:23-25…
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
God admonishes us to walk together in this life. The church isn’t what saves you but what keeps you secure until the end of the ride.
Mercy Hill puts on a Weekender ten times a year, and the reason we do this is to see people “move from connected to committed.” We devote a whole weekend to bringing people to a clear understanding of what it means to follow Christ and doing so through the local church. We share what we believe about the Bible, community groups, serving, missions, and the ultimately safety precaution: Covenant Membership. In 2018, make the Weekender a priority as you follow Christ at Mercy Hill.
-Paul Howington (Assimilation Associate Director)