Church isn’t what I thought it was

Maybe… Just maybe… Church (the building) isn’t where it’s at.  Maybe the world we live in has a total misconception of what church really is.  Is it trivial?  Are we flippant in our quest for “church?”

Consider this. We have misconceptions about everything else.  We live in a world where many… seriously many, believe in alien life.

We live in a world where love seems so trivial. This is evidenced by the new research showing where more marriages end in divorce than those that do not.

Friendship is treated so flippantly now, that it is hard to tell the difference in real friendship and “facebook” friendship.

Our world has evolved into a different place than it was just a few years ago. Which brings me back to the question… do we have a misconception of church? Is church a place we go to meet God?  (I thought God dwells within…)  Is worship something we do? (or is it a way we live…)  Is a sermon or a sermon series the focus of our week?  Do we put preachers on pulpits or pedestals? Do committees determine God’s will or do they try their best to determine we He is already up to… and try to keep up?

I’m telling you folks, I’ve really been scouring the bottom of the barrel when it comes to my understanding churches these days.  The last few weeks have been dry for me.  Some of you are already probably turning up your noses at my simply asking such things, but I’ve been told more than once in the last few weeks that my life is not to be determined by a church.  So if not, then what is the church actually for?  Is it a place that I go to once a week so that I can feel better about myself or my walk with Jesus? Is it something I do out of habit, or because I’m supposed to?  Am I going to go to hell for having these questions?

I spent eighteen years of my life dedicated to trying to grow a church.  Was it time wasted?  I don’t think so, but I have had a serious change in my thought of what church is.  Here  is what I’ve come up with.

A man doesn’t buy a car to take it to the body shop to have dents and scratches fixed.   He buys it to drive.

A man doesn’t get married so that he can experience the “Death do us part”.  He gets married to enjoy a life with his mate.

AND we don’t get saved to go to church.  There I said it.  We get saved to live Christ.  We become a Christian to find abundant life… all week long- not just Sundays.  Church is a living body.  It is a family.  My children aren’t only my children on Mondays.  They are my children with every breath they breathe.  My relationship with Jesus is not something that is cultivated once a week.

Is going to church important?  Sure it is.  But our understanding of what church is needs to be clear.  Going to meet on Sundays is a time for renewal… scratch and dent repair.  Pastors are only men… normal people just like us that are trying to make it in the world just like we are.  Their sermons are meant for encouragement and growing us so that we can go out into the world and be real.

You don’t gain brownie points with God by attending a worship service, but you can be encouraged and this could help you have a better walk with Him on Tuesday afternoon.  Being busy about God’s business is great when done out of love, but serving God out of guilt is no different than a suit on a dead man.  It looks nice on the surface, but the heart stinks.

Sorry if I sound contrite, but maybe I am.  My view has been changed.  I suppose I see church through different lenses now.  All the hoopla doesn’t interest me anymore. I’ve tried to go and do church.  I have done my best to try to be a “minister” just to be given reasons why I’m not up to par.  I just want to be a part of the Church, not just go to church.  Will I go to a meeting on Sundays? Yes I will.  Will I sing worship songs?  Sure!  But my idea of church has evolved…

My “church” is everyday.  My sanctuary is everywhere.  My staff is you.  My committee is Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and a few others.  My pulpit is a forklift and my tie is a pair of work gloves.  My congregation is whomever.  And most of all, my Lord is Jesus.  And He does not evolve.  He sees promise and potential in me.  And He isn’t concerned with my shortcomings or age.  He is ready for church and so am I.

Are you?

There you have it.

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~ by Scott Herrin on October 29, 2011.

8 Responses to “Church isn’t what I thought it was”

  1. Wonderful post! Thanks for getting what a few of us are trying to teach and encourage – Pastor Andy

    • Experience is a tough tough teacher… I probably failed the midterm. But I’m gotten smart just in time for the final. I appreciate your encouragement Pastor Andy.

  2. Great read Scott. This is a great example of why you were always so good at youth ministry. Your heart is real brother.

  3. I believe you hit the nail on the head. I feel as you do. The church is there for encouragement and nourishment, but the game is all around us each and every day. It sure would be nice if the whole team would get into the game and get off the sideline. I hope to run the race as if to win, but man….there went a toucan!!! I often wonder, “What the heck am I doing?” Just remember, do it for Him and do it for them. If we were in it for ourselves we’d just move to the sidelines probably the stands!! The game is much more exillerating!!!

  4. There has been spiritually deadly confusion between buildings & religious organization being the church vs the truth that we are the church indwelt by the Spirit of God, the life of Christ. The first actually works against the Holy Spirit leading, nurturing and drawing the hurt and lost. When we experientially and with heart and mind understand who we are in Jesus, God’s overwhelming love of us, then how we can love each other and reach out for the hurting out of the love His love for us and our love for Him. Thanks Scott.

  5. There has been spiritually deadly confusion between buildings & religious organization being the church vs the truth that we are the church indwelt by the Spirit of God, the life of Christ. The first actually works against the Holy Spirit leading, nurturing and drawing the hurt and lost. When we experientially and with heart and mind understand who we are in Jesus, God’s overwhelming love of us, then oh how we can love each other and reach out for the hurting out of the love His love for us and our love for Him. Thanks Scott.

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