I read all 31 editorials. Wading through their jaded bitterness, biased agendas and crude judgments I actually discovered a measure of truth.
I was left with a few strong impressions… For most of these churches, it appears that their primary reason for existence was to make sure that they continued to exist.
Hmmm… that’s not good and it’s most certainly not enough.
What was missing from each of these gathering? Well, for one, God, God was missing. There wasn’t any discernable evidence of His manifest presence or power. If there had been, isn’t it fair to say that one of these reporters would have documented it?
So, with my previous post as a backdrop I pose the following question…
Why do we do this thing called church? Here's my short list…
~ To Encounter God: To know and experience Him.
~ Corporate Worship: That spiritually powerful synergy of joining together to extol His virtues and express our love for Him.
~ Community: A place to gather and relate with other followers of Jesus. Community provides companionship for the journey.
~ Inspiration & Challenge: To live lives worthy of the callings we have received.
~ Education & Training: To equip us to live supernatural lives with holiness and humility.
~ Service & Outreach: Allowing us opportunity to put our faith into action.
Why do you do church?
St. Paul warned us of “terrible times in the last days”, I fear they have arrived.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
© Tom Zawacki 2007
Tom, the power of love is what I see as I read your words. Thanks for the challenge.ReplyDelete
I checked out that link. Wow, that definately stired something inside of me, brought tears to my eyes. Amazing how a song can capture that much emotion about God.ReplyDelete
Great post... and the last post with all 31 editorials was good too.ReplyDelete
For me personally, there is really only one item on my list as to why do church -- an experience with God. I mean, to me, that's the bottom line. That can happen during real authentic corporate worship, that can happen during prayer, I completely leave that to the Holy Spirit to lead. But, at the end of the day, if I haven't had an encounter with God, I simply had a religious experience. All of the rest of the stuff churches provide is great, but it's just religion if it hasn't led me to an encounter with Him. And I can get most of the other stuff reading a book or chilling with friends anyway. Heck, let's be honest -- you don't have to be a christian or in church to serve at a soup kitchen.
I really don't want to minimize education/community/outreach/yada-yada since those are truely important, but IMHO those should result as an overflow of what God is depositing. If we aren't letting Him deposit anything then, well, it's kinda emptiness.
In a sense, this relates to my apprehension of many "seeker-friendly" churches. I'm not so much concerned about people's comfort level with the service as I am that the Holy Spirit is even there in the first place.
Okay, my apologies, I'm off on a rant there. I just found the editorials very telling. Again, great post. This is just my own humble 2 cents, so take it for what it's worth.
I am at the right church! We have the same list :)ReplyDelete
Do you think Christians can be the church without going to church?ReplyDelete
I can't thank you enough for the previous article and your comments. My thoughts echo yours. The major them I got from the editorials is that the church has become largely irrelevant to the people who need it most. I was deeply saddened as I realized how much I agreed with the authors, even though I come from a completely sympathetic (to Christianity) viewpoint.
I am challenged once again to settle for nothing less than the presence and power of the God. I am ruined for anything less. Meeting in the same building does not a church make. It is singleness of purpose to pursue God, even as He pursues us.