You don’t need to go to church.
You heard me.
And I mean it.
Just hear me out… and please hear what I’m saying.
For so long in our country, attending church on Sunday was a tradition. For hundreds of years a majority of the population attended each week. It was never questioned. It was just something that folks did.
But something happened over the last century. Church attendance has slowly declined. People quit attending regularly, and many don’t go at all. Even people who consider themselves Christians tend to go less and less. Probably because they just don’t see the point. And with all our advances in technology you don’t even have to leave the house to get groceries anymore. Why go to church?
Thanks to Spotify and Youtube, you can listen to worship music online. And you get to pick the songs you want to hear! Stream anything you want with the click of a button.
You can hear preachers from around the world preach on whatever subject you want to hear. Get bored halfway through? Pause it and watch a couple of episodes of Boy Meets World over on Hulu, and come back to the sermon later. Or just pick something else.
Still want to give? You can send money online to just about any church or charity organization imaginable. Want to pray for people? I’m sure one of your friends on Facebook has posted something that you can respond to with “praying.” Still need a place to show off the fancy new outfit you bought yesterday? That’s what Instagram is for.
You can do it all without budging from the spot you’re sitting right now, on the same screen that you are staring into.
So why even go to church?
But maybe the point was never to go to church, but to BE the church. Somewhere along the way we’ve substituted a couple of hours in a building for an authentic 24/7 Christianity. And that’s something that very hard to do through a screen.
When Jesus talked to Peter about “building the Church,” He wasn’t talking about literally building a building on top of Peter. That would be… a painful process. He was talking figuratively about bringing people together to form a new kind of family.
This was the family that came alive in the early parts of the book of Acts. To these people, church was about serving one another. It was about coming together to meet each other’s needs and helping each other live better lives through Jesus.
This doesn’t make gathering together less important. It actually means quite the opposite. YOU may not need to go to church each week. But I guarantee that every Sunday there’s someone that needs you to be there for them.
When I make church about going to a place, it becomes about music, tradition, and ultimately about getting what I need in order to get by. But when I make it about people, it becomes so much more. What we’ve so often called church, is just a place where The Church comes together. And that’s something we all need.
So go BE the church this week. Find a place to serve others and a Small Group to connect with. And don’t just go to a building this weekend. Go get together with your family, worship together, serve each other and help each other grow closer to Jesus.
After completing this entry, I felt there was more that needed to be said. The follow up post can be found right here.