How would you like to live in an environment that promoted and accelerated your spiritual growth? This environment would be a place where you were provided the proper light, nutrients, moisture, warmth, and protection from the elements to grow spiritually strong. What I have just described to you is a spiritual greenhouse.
If you aren’t a gardener, a greenhouse is a structure with walls and a roof made of transparent material in which plants that require a regulated climate are grown. The greenhouse is a controlled environment that helps plants grow healthy and at an accelerated pace. Greenhouses help plants grow because they enhance positives such as light and warmth while protecting against negatives like cold and pestilence.
Did you know that God has created a spiritual greenhouse to accelerate your spiritual growth and protect you from harmful elements? If you didn’t, that’s ok, I didn’t know either until a couple of weeks ago when God explained it to me. What is a spiritual greenhouse you ask? It’s the church. Let me explain.
The book of Acts begins with a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Three thousand people were saved in this outpouring. After they were saved, Acts 2:42 tells what these believers did next.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The early church met regularly and studied the word which is similar to a plant receiving healthy nutrients and proper sunlight. They prayed together which is similar to a plant receiving the proper moisture. Lastly, they broke bread and fellowshipped together (not with the world) which is symbolic of fertilizer and protection from harmful elements.
Jesus established the church to be a spiritual greenhouse that would grow disciples that would make disciples of all nations. Churches were not established just so people would attend and check it off their spiritual to do list for the week. The church is the spiritual greenhouse that is designed to help each of us grow to our full potential in Christ Jesus. It is supposed to be a safe place where we are loved and accepted and protected from the judgment and hatred of the world. It is also supposed to be a place where we are taught truth so we get the proper nutrients we need to grow. If we have a good gardener (pastor) we are also warned of spiritual pestilence (false teaching) which seeks to destroy us. This place we meet is designed to enhance the light we receive from the Son and as we spend time in His presence we are transformed into the person we were created to become!
Throughout the book of Acts, the Apostles traveled all over the middle east and Asia leading people to Jesus and then establishing spiritual greenhouses (churches) in order to facilitate and enhance discipleship. You have probably read about many of these greenhouses. These include greenhouses in Antioch, Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Crete, and Thessalonica. If these names look familiar to you, it is because they are the names of certain cities were churches were established. The Apostles’ Paul, Peter, and John wrote letters to these churches in order to help them grow. These letters instructed the churches about how to select leaders and organize, how to live harmoniously with one another, how to address conflict, how to receive God’s blessings by faith, and how to protect people from Satan’s negative influence.
One of the reasons I believe every person should go to church on a regular basis (the same church – you won’t establish roots bouncing from greenhouse to greenhouse) is because God wants to place each of us in a God designed accelerator environment so we can grow. As we grow and mature, we are able to change the world around us when we leave the greenhouse at the close of service on Sundays.
I will admit there are some bad spiritual greenhouses, the same way there are some bad regular greenhouses in the world. If you have gone to a bad spiritual greenhouse, I can sympathize as I have attended some bad ones too. Don’t throw out the concept, however, as the church is the spiritual greenhouse that God created to facilitate your spiritual growth. To stop going to church would be as unwise as a plant who stopped going to a greenhouse because they had been in one that was poorly constructed at some point in their life. If the plant is wise, it will find a good greenhouse and get inside!
I hope this article has encouraged you to look at the church in a different light. Going to church isn’t something we do to check off our spiritual to do list, it is essential to us growing healthy. If you do not attend church regularly, I would encourage you to seek the Lord about where He wants you to attend and get involved. Jesus has the right spiritual greenhouse for you because He cares about your growth. If you would like to learn more about the importance of the church in your spiritual growth, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.