Rick Warren recently wrote, "God's purpose for the church is also his purpose for every Christian. As individual followers of Christ we are to use our lives in worship, ministry, evangelism, discipleship and fellowship. The church allows us to do it together. We are not alone in serving him.

That's why I love the church with all of my heart. It's the most brilliant concept ever created. It has outlasted cultures, governments, skeptics, enemies from within and without, and it will continue to do so until Jesus returns.

We must love the church as Christ does and we must teach others to love the church also. "... Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.... After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church -- for we are members of his body" (Ephesians 5:25, 29-30).

(To read the entire article go to http://www.baptistpress.com/bpcolumn.asp?ID=927)