Who We Are

Cody Burt
Why do you go to church? If you are like me, there are plenty of other things that you could be doing. Is it because you’re supposed to? Is it because it’s a good thing to do? Maybe it’s what you always have done or grown up doing.
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Ephesians 4:12Matt posed a question at men’s bible study this past Wednesday (noon to 1:00 p.m. every Wednesday at Big Jakes in Nash if you’re free). “Why do you go to Heritage?”
This is my story…
I started going to a small Baptist church out in the country when I was 13 up until I was 24. I look back on those days and remember doing things out of tradition and obligation. There was always this sense of never being good enough, but I still had to keep trying. It was very exhausting.
What happened at 24? It wasn’t a church split, although I had seen my fair share of church drama. They didn’t make me mad or kick me out. Actually, I met the girl that sings on stage. To take her on a date, I had to go to her church. At the time, Heritage had a 7 a.m. service, so we would go to that service and then my church afterward. That only lasted for a couple of Sundays.
Heritage was undoubtedly the “cooler” church because they had loud music and those moving lights. Even though that is cool, there was something different that intrigued me. What was being taught stood out more than anything. It wasn’t what I was used to hearing and, in some ways, challenged what I believed, yet they were using scripture to back it up.
It wasn’t long after I started coming that I joined the production team helping with sound. I noticed that the band and production team was very intentional about everything they did. I thought you could just “make a joyful noise,” and you were good. What I didn’t realize is the effect that an intentional and distraction-free service has.
This past Sunday was a great example of that. Not only were the songs a great lineup, but having each member speak to why they chose the song showed the intentionality that goes into every week. The Bible says that the purpose of songs is to reinforce truth (Col. 3:14). The team is very intentional in what they sing to reinforce the truth.
After being at Heritage for a few years, they started the 318 groups Matt mentioned this past Sunday. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into other than a small Bible study group. It was in this group that I began to plumb the depths of who I am in Christ. The more I began to understand, the freer I felt. Contrary to popular belief, there really is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
That 318 Group made one of the most significant impacts on my understanding of who I am in Christ, and I gained a great friend and mentor out of it. I spent 5 or 6 years in that group before I felt comfortable teaching my own group.Gentlemen, if you are not in a 318 Group, you are missing out. I don’t say that to guilt you into going. In fact, don’t go if it is out of guilt. I say that to express the benefit it will be to your life!
Heritage has been an enormous blessing in my life in so many ways. The people at Heritage were intentional about creating environments for me to grow in my understanding of who I am in Christ - edifying me. I don’t know if I can adequately convey what it feels like to experience freedom from knowing and understanding truth. However, I know I want to create that same environment for someone else to hear that truth. Not because I’m obligated to or because I’m supposed to, but because I want people to experience the freedom we have in Christ!
If you’re not familiar with this freedom I am talking about, find an environment and see what it’s all about. If you know about this freedom, then get plugged in and help create those environments!

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