As Laura and I were discussing why we so loved our “newer” church home, it struck me as something to chronicle as my blogs center on the faith practices and beliefs that make my life better than it was without them. The friends I’ve made, the inspirational worship services, the consistency of life giving sermons and Scripturally supported Bible studies are all good reasons to be there and if we weren’t empty nesters I would be certain to add the Godly leadership qualities of our youth pastor. Being fulfilled means getting what you came for and the above are good reasons, but none are the reason to be a member of a Christ following church. What you “come for” is to be continually made more into the likeness of Christ or as C.S. Lewis famously wrote:
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose. – C.S. Lewis
[C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: Harper Collins: 2001), 199].
Today’s “I want it now” culture cultivates lifestyle habits that can cause to “shop” our church like we do our groceries. Does it have the music I like, is the pastor dynamic or will the service be too long? What does the church offer my kids? All good questions, but not the question you should ask in order to determine if it is the body of Christ God has in store for you. I think there are certain appeals of anonymity in today’s mega churches and am not being critical of the churches, it’s just the way some want it. Whether your church is small, medium or large it is vital you feel connected and part of that community as the common bond of commitment to follow the teachings of Christ leads to the desires and disciplines of effective ministries. Effective ministries help those that need the help, plain and simple.
If you feel the abundance and grace God grants you from being a part of your church home, congratulations. That is a big deal. If not, you may not be at home or you may not be seeking what is available in your church home. Have a great Sunday! Steve