Why bother with church?
Why bother with church? It’s a tough question, right? One many of us secretly ask, but rarely voice openly. And it’s time to bring these thoughts out into the light and shine some truth on to them.
Last week, when we first decided to brave the topic, we settled on this fact: Jesus loves the Church. So much so that He gave His life for her. And if Jesus loves and bothers with His Church, we probably should too.
Is our definition of church too narrow?
But here’s another tough question we need to address: what is church? Our definition of church might be a little off — perhaps it’s too narrow. So let’s make sure we know what — or whom — church is so we can love and bother with her.
Church is not a building
First, church is NOT a building. Jesus died for His church, but not for a building. He died for lost sinners — you and me. So, we shouldn’t think of church as a place. Instead, we need to think of the Church as a body — a body, or group, of people who believe with everything they’ve got that Jesus freely offers salvation from sin and death to anyone — anyone! — who repents of their sin and puts their faith in Him.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8
Church is more than Sunday morning
Second, we need to stop thinking that church only happens at set times and locations. Can I let you in on something I just recently realized? Church doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning. Because the Church is made up of living, breathing human beings (who don’t just live and breath on Sunday morning) the Church is the Church always. Let me say that again:
The Church is the Church always.
Everyday of the week.
And this is where I have been hung up and confused and frustrated. Yes, a very important aspect of the Church happens on Sunday morning, but she does not stop being the Church once the final worship song is sung or the final altar-call is concluded. The Church is still the Church on Sunday afternoon, Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday…you get the picture.
Church doesn’t just happen on the first morning of the week. It also happens the next day when a family gathers to pray before Mom and Dad go off to work and the kids get on the school bus.
Church doesn’t just happens when the Women’s Ministry team puts on a beautifully, thought-out luncheon. Church also happens when two ladies get together at the local coffee shop to read scripture together.
Church doesn’t just happen at the mid-week youth group. It also happens when a believing school teacher decides to prayerfully invest in the student he sees struggling.
Church happens in Sunday School classrooms and in the nursery, but it also happens on play dates, in carpools, and at soccer games.
Church happens at breakfast tables, in grocery stores, at work, in prisons, in restaurants, at homeless shelters, and at so many more places.
Church happens wherever and whenever the Church decides to show up.
Look beyond the building and the weekend activities
Once we see that Church happens far beyond the four walls of it’s weekend meeting place, we will see just how awesome she truly is. We will see the Holy Spirit working through her to make disciples. We will see the sick being healed, the broken hearted being comforted, and the lost being found.
If we can look beyond the building and the weekend activities of the Church we will see the bride of Christ loving the way He first loved her.
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
By the grace of God we will see and we will want to be a part of it. We will want to be involved in the lives of those around us. We will invite our friends into our messy homes for coffee and conversation. We will be brave enough to start morning prayer meetings in our work places. We will extend dinner invitations to the new family at church (and if we are that new family we will accept the invitation). We will strike up conversation with the lonely man on our bus route. We will put down our phones and talk to our kids. We will call our parents. We will knock on our neighbors doors. We will smile at strangers in the grocery store.
We will stop asking why bother with church? and start asking how can I be the Church?
Friends, this was not an easy post for me to write. I would so much rather sit back, wait for the Church to meet my needs, and criticise her when she doesn’t. But that’s not what love does. The love that pours out of us because God loved us first is selfless and serving. If you are like me and this love doesn’t come easy, I encourage you to pray. Confess your sin to the Lord and ask that He empower you to love His Church they way He loves His Church.
Only by grace,
[bctt tweet=”The Church is the Church always. Everyday of the week. #whybotherwithchurch” username=”KelliLaFram”]
[bctt tweet=”Church happens wherever and whenever the Church decides to show up. #whybotherwithchurch” username=”KelliLaFram”]
[bctt tweet=”If we can look beyond the building & the weekend activities of the Church we will see the bride of Christ loving the way He first loved her.” username=”KelliLaFram”]