This post has been brewing in my head for quite some time. Before I start ranting, however, I must state that this is in no way directed at any one person. It’s a whole passel of folks. ;)
So what as me all riled up? The Church. Well, not the Church exactly, but the lack of commitment people (especially in ‘my generation’) seem to give to to the local church. I know there are many high school and college students who practically live at their church—if that’s you, way to go. You’re doing what we’re biblically called to do.
It’s the ‘other’ group of people that have me fired up. The ones who aren’t involved in a local church and don’t care about their lack of involvement. In Hebrews 10:24-25, we are told, “do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works.” In Ephesians 4:12, Paul tells us that our spiritual gifts were given to the Church “so that the body of Christ may be built up.” 1 Peter 3:9 (my personal favorite) states, “but you [the Church] chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The Church is special to God!
Many of the thoughts in this rant were formed by the book Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God, which, despite its cheesy title, has some excellent points. Yes, it was written by Josh Harris, but don’t let that turn you off. I don’t have it with me right now as it’s at school and I’m at home, but I encourage you all to read it. Short book with a wealth of information about committment to the local body of Christ.
Anyways, I think the Bible makes it very clear that the Church is valuable to Christ. I mean, He came here and died for Her to make Her holy (Eph. 5:25-27) …can you get much more valuable than that? Because of this incredible worth, I think that we need to make church a priority and not just something that fits into our schedule whenever we make it work. Gathering with the Church is unique; it’s different from Bible studies, chapels or anything else. It is (or at least should be, in my opinion) a multi-generational, multi-racial coming together of those that love the Lord Jesus Christ. They gather to hear the Word, learn from the Word, corporately worship through music, break bread together (communion) and fellowship. I believe churches should have fun together! No, this doesn’t mean laughter must happen at every service, but I am a big fan of random ‘family fun nights’ as a church. Jesus saved you from hell; smile!
Is the Church perfect? No! In fact, I think it's done a pretty stinky job in some places (see: the 'good Christian kids' I knew in highschool who are definitely not living for God anymore), but Jesus says She is beautiful. To those who say the Church is full of hypocrites; come on in, there's always room for more. ;)
The Church is to be a place where people are committed to using their time, talents and gifts for the Lord. It is a place where people are built up, loved and exhorted. It’s not always easy, but then again, anything worth having is worth working for.