What do you think the church is like?
Is it a family? A business? Or maybe a family business?
It is an organisation? An institution?
Is the church a place you go because you’re expected to? Or because you’ve got a job to do? Is it a duty?
Perhaps you think the church is a provider of spiritual activities and products. If you go along, you hope to hear something interesting or even inspiring. But what if you’re asked to do something, or you’re not asked to do something, or the service is uninspiring?
Or maybe, for you, the church is a place that reinforces your values, with the same concerns you have about where the world is headed. But what if there’s disagreement?
But what’s missing from those ideas of the church? Only two things: God and others.
When our ideas about the church ignore God and others, we have a self-centred view of the church.
So, we ask how the church can serve us instead of asking how we can serve the church. ‘How does the music make me feel? Are there activities for me? What is there for my kids? Are the people like me? Do I fit in?’
It shows when we choose not to be part of church at all. ‘I read my Bible, I pray, and there’s so much good teaching online. And I meet up with other Christians. Does it matter if I don’t go to a church?’
But it also shows when we come to church when we feel like it. ‘The really spiritual people might get to church every week, but I’ll fit it in when I can.’
These self-centred ideas about the church misunderstand what the church is. They ignore what God says about the church and how God has made the church.
So, we need to hear what God says about the church. Then we need to believe it and arrange our lives by it.
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- Unity: An Essential Mark of the Local Church by Josh Buice
- Let Your Dream Church Die by Scott Hubbard
- Resources for Kids
- Resources for Teens
- Resources for Everyone