What is this church thing?

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A friend of mine and I were talking over some coffee the other morning and we began discussing why it is that Christians feel the need to go to church. Now hold on, before you think that I am suggesting that no one go to church, we were talking about specifically what people go to church for. Is it singing songs? Is it hearing about the bible? Some great teaching? Social activity?

All of which are good. But we came to the conclusion that much of the time we go to church for selfish reasons. “I want to grow, I want to be closer to God, I want to hear more about Him.” All with self being the motivator. It seems to me that we rarely go to church for others. And even most church ‘services’ (which I think is a horrible word for what the church does anyway) are set up to deliver something. They deliver information, they deliver emotion, great songs. Whatever it is that we go to get, something seems wrong with the whole way of thinking.

What if we went to church to give. To connect. To let the life and goodness of Christ be transfered to others? What if that was what drove us to church? I think there would be less church shopping, and less criticism. I have had to audacity to visit a church and then tell other people what I thought they were doing wrong. Hear me repent. I repent.

We have to dig in a be connected to people who are connected to God who connects us through the gathering of his people. It really isn’t about the building or service (seriously we have to quit calling it that). It is about people loving each other, meeting physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. Does that need a building or service? Maybe. But the guts of kingdom life has to happen when people live out the gospel (good news that Christ has overcome sin and death) in a real and tangible way.

Going to church just won’t cut it. I would even go as far to say that systematic teaching of the bible and singing great songs are not going to change people. Transfer of information won’t change people, (something about ‘doers and not hearers.’) Singing neat songs won’t change people. Living missionally with others in a community of fatih will.

…or so it seems to me.

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~ by dallasbpeters on February 2, 2007.

3 Responses to “What is this church thing?”

  1. Agreed, and just in case there’s someone who hasn’t heard this before: “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.” -L.J. Peter
    BB and JMO —Doug

  2. Sometimes i think I’m a lawn mower:)

  3. I have been thinking about this very subject of “church” since we moved to Austin. We visited several churches when we got here but I felt we were trying to do something just for the sake of doing something. I feel like we were just getting back into the same ‘ole routine that we were in Amarillo and I did not want to do that. I just need to hear from the Lord about what He wants from me here in Austin and love people I see everyday. I think that people “do church” more than “being church”. Does that make sense? It seems to be more of a social gathering than anything else. That scares people and it scares me, too.

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