Saturday, December 15, 2007

I have now spent 25 years serving, leading, and attending churches. That said, there have been more than a few times as a follower and leader that I wanted to give up on the whole thing.
I read a book once called “how to quit church without giving up on God.” I secretly hoped it was true. But it was just silly and selfish. In all fairness it was then that I read a book called “church, why bother?” by Phillip Yancey. And then I just looked up every verse in the New Testament that had the word church in it. Then I came to some conclusions.

The reason this is important is that about 85% of Americans believe in God, but we are drifting towards 40% being in church. It’s not that people don’t believe in God so much as people don’t believe in church.

Some reasons for church:

1. Jesus imagined and built it. It is his family on earth. He nurtures it, loves it, and died for it. It matters to him a lot. It is not disposable, if you follow him.
2. Church brings us the teaching, love, fellowship, mentors, etc that we need to grow healthy. I meet people all the time that “don’t do church anymore” and the vast majority are slowly falling away from God.
3. The spiritual gifts we have and give to others often make or break the lives around us. Some people are literally starving for love, mercy, and teaching. These gifts are what God uses us to knit us together and teach us to lean on each other.
4. Together we can do things we could never do alone. Acts of social justice; altruism in people’s lives; sending missionaries to other lands only happen in the context of a committed community.
5. No other place on earth will teach us the servanthood, selflessness, deference, humility, and longsuffering that church does. Church is a melting pot of VERY different people who are united by the love of Christ. These vast differences are the very things we need most to learn how to give the unconditional love we have received.
6. Tertullian “The blood of the martyrs are the seeds of the church.” Saints have died for what we take for granted, their legacy calls us to hope in the church. Each generation must rebuild her anew.
7. Most of the New Testament was written to churches NOT individuals. That means something.



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