Welcome guest blogger Monica Schmelter of Bridges on Christian Television Network
It was a beautiful sunshiny day and I was up for a new kind of workout. I tried an outdoor fitness challenge. It started with two minutes of jumping rope, then two minutes of sprints and then off to the hula hoops! I learned first hand what I had been told - it’s harder to work out in the elements.
Our walk with Christ is very similar. We go to church – inside the four walls for spiritual teaching, and encouragement. In some ways, when we’re inside that building it’s a controlled environment. We’ve got climate control and we’re usually surrounded by others with similar faith. We hear the Word of God, our fellowship is rewarding, and the prayers are beautiful. Then, we leave the comfort of that church building and head out into the elements.
At that point, we encounter people from all walks of life, some angry, some not, and others that are outright hostile to the faith we hold so dear. We’ve been trained, of course, inside the four walls of the church - and we’re eager to witness and reach. Yet, we find the real test of what we’ve learned comes into play when we meet others that are very different from us.
As I completed the outside fitness challenge, I found my face more flushed than usual. My heart rate got up there more quickly than in the comfort of air conditioning and sprints are definitely more difficult outside when you’re running up hill.
While the outdoor challenge was more difficult, I enjoyed it. I was well aware that this is what I train for each day when I work out. Those indoor workouts prepared me to face the great outdoors with confidence and endurance. I completed the challenge sweaty and tired but I enjoyed every single bit of it.
It’s just like that for the church. The four walls provide us training time - they help us grow and gain confidence in Christ. They prepare us for the encounters that we will have with those that don’t know Christ yet. The church prepares us to face all situations with His Word, love, grace and mercy. Sure it may be challenging at times as we experience the fierce winds of unbelief, or the sting of persecution. But our training time within the four walls of church equips us to run the race with endurance and to keep our eyes on the prize. We train indoors as we gather together with like-minded believers in the church, but we run the race outside “rain or shine” with God’s Word as our firm foundation.
Monica took her new passion for Christ and studied mass communications in college. This course of study opened a door for her at Christian Television Network in Nashville. There she hosts a daily talk show called “Bridges” where she has the pleasure of interviewing Christian artists, authors, pastors and community leaders.