by Becca Yager
The local church I went to when I was growing up is what helped me come to know Jesus personally and grow in my relationship with Him. I went to the middle school youth group and then the high school one. I went to the Bible camp that is connected to that church, which is where I asked Jesus into my heart for the first time.
When I was in high school, I started being a camp counselor for the younger children. I was able to mentor children growing in their faith as I continued to grow in mine. The local church matters because it helps people come to know Jesus personally and it encourages us to serve God and love Him/others.
Being a part of a local church has been important to me in many ways. One way is having a pastor that cares so personally.
Last year, our baby had open heart surgery when she was 3 months old. It was a shock to everyone. She just all of a sudden started having trouble breathing so we took her from urgent care to the Emergency Room and finally by ambulance to Children’s Hospital.
I got to talk with our pastor on the phone at least twice, which was very nice. People from church were praying and also bringing food to our house; both were super caring and helpful.
A second way being a part of a local church has been important to me is being a part of my 2 small groups. My first small group has lasted years now, through having my two babies. People from my small group brought over meals when I had newborns.
I finally was able to start a Moms group last fall and it has been a blessing for all of us. We get to support each other through the tough times. In my other group we have done this too, especially by praying for each other. When my family had Covid, a nurse from our group dropped off a Covid pack for us that she had created, full of vitamins and hand sanitizer.
Another way the local church matters and it has been important to me is in how it has allowed me to discover my spiritual gifts. One of my main spiritual gifts is intercession, which means I naturally pray a lot throughout each day. As a counselor I think it’s really important to know who you are and the local church can help you do this by helping you discover your spiritual gifts and teach you that your identity is as a child of God.
*This blog post is part of the “Reason to Return” series sponsored by Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church and the Church Needs Women
READ: That Still Small Voice