Christian, you are part of a strange group. You visit nursing homes, shelter the homeless, and counsel unwed mothers. Who else does that?
It has been that way from the beginning. The Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate, said, "Those impious Christians! They not only take care of their own poor, but ours as well!"
The positive impact of the Christian church is a singular achievement – and there isn't a close second.
Consider how the church meets the needs of our families: Weddings, baptisms, communion, confirmations, funerals, fellowship dinners, evangelistic outreaches, worship services, preaching, hymns, choir, spiritual education, ministry opportunities, accountability, softball leagues, small groups, Sunday school classes, special classes, conferences, retreats, women's groups, men's groups, nursery, Mother's day out, and hospital visits. No institution supports marriage and family like the church.
Consider for a moment what America would look like without the church. Where would be the great hospitals, schools, and universities? Where would be the soup lines, the coalitions for the homeless, the rescue missions? Would anyone be doing inner city youth work or providing homes for unwed mothers? Where would be the voices calling out for abstinence from premarital sex or the right to life? Who would be the voice of justice, and the hands of mercy?
Who would be the feet of the gospel of salvation? Who would be the light in the darkness, the salt seeking to preserve society and culture?
Jesus Christ and his gospel is the hope of the world. We, his body, the church, of which Christ is head, though deeply flawed and far from perfect, are, and always has been, God's primary and most effective means of bringing Christ and his gospel to the world (Colossians 1:18, 24).
As someone said, "The church has many critics, but no rivals."
So church, let's keep it strange out there!
Until every church disciples every man...
Portions excerpted from Devotions For Couples, Zondervan