Is church for us? The answer to this question is easy. Yes, church is ‘for’ us in the context that it is a vital part of our spiritual life. It is a media to fellowship, build relationships with other believers, worship, and grow into deeper discipleship with Christ. However, just because church is ‘for’ us does not mean that church is ‘for’ us. Confused yet? Let me explain.
Too many Christ followers come to church with the expectation to be entertained. Too many Christ followers go ‘church shopping’ to try to find exactly what they want in a church. Too many Christ followers leave churches because the church will not attend to their very specific likes and dislikes (i.e. music, program structure, doctrines etc.). Is this what the church is there for? To make everyone happy? Not at all! The church is designed to be a community of believers in Jesus Christ who come together to learn, grow, encourage, correct, worship, meet needs, and so on.
So we need to ask ourselves, is church for us? Is the purpose of this church to please me? The answer to that question is a resounding no. The church is designed to please Jesus Christ, after all, it is His bride, and we please Him by accomplishing the purpose of the church: To make disciples.
Now I just got done saying that the church is for learning, growing, encouraging, and so on. How is the purpose of the church to make disciples if the church is supposed to be a community that accomplishes this list of goals as well. Simple, when you accomplish these goals, you will accomplish the main goal. All of these smaller focuses are aimed at making disciples. So, by teaching believers, meeting needs, worshiping, correcting one another, and reaching out; we are indeed making disciples of Jesus Christ.
What this means practically, is that as brothers and sister in Christ-Really, we are brothers and sisters in Christ!- we need to be focusing on this main goal of making disciples rather than worrying about whether or not these hymns are hymns that “I” am familiar with. This means that if you can find a church that fulfills the goals that were just mentioned with the purpose of making disciples, you have found yourself a keeper.
We cannot go to church with the mindset that it is about us, about our wants, about our preferences, about our likes and dislikes, because it is not about us. It is not about me. It is not about you. It is entirely about Jesus. As a community of Christ followers we can gladly (yes we can do this gladly) accept that we will enjoy some aspects of our church services, and not enjoy others. We can accept the fact that we will not always get our way. We can and we should.
How can we serve if we are worried about getting served? How can we meet the needs of others if we are continually fixated on our own? How can we reach the lost if we are only focused on the saved? How can we love others if we are focused on others loving us? The answer is simple: we can’t. The sooner we understand this, the sooner we will begin to restore the church as the bride of Christ versus are own personal girlfriend.
Yes church is for us!!!! But church is not for us…Are we starting to get it now?