So here’s the thing, it was cold this morning, I was lazy this morning, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m the pastor I might have been tempted to give church a skip this morning. Actually, there are a billion reasons (little bit of hyperbole there) why you might not have gone to church this morning and I’m not going to uncover all of them, but here is a stab at three:
1. Church is for people that need church, I’m fine, by myself, with my Bible, at home.
Truth is if you think anything like the heading above you’re not in the minority. Loads of folk think church can happen wherever they are (like underneath the duvet on cold Winter days). Church is for people who need church and if you don’t need church don’t feel guilty for not going.
2. Church is for people who have something to offer, I’m too short/too nerdy/too poor/too rich to add any value to church.
Can’t help driving around Jozie and noticing the billboards all over the place with really rich looking pastors, bling draped around their necks and on their fingers, 1,000,000 Million Dollar smiles plastered on their faces. Or those guys that lead worship with the rock star haircuts and designer clothes. Even the woman that operate the coffee pots look like they hold theological degrees. Churches can sometimes leave us with the feeling that they don’t need you. So why bother going?
3. My local church wouldn’t miss me if I disappeared for 10 months on an excursion to the Amazon, I’m just not needed.
So here’s the thing, have you ever gone to church, for ages, and then you skip a few weeks and no one notices? Yip, like they make such a big deal about how important people are, but when push comes to shove you’re not too sure if you matter… to anyone other than your mother… and she doesn’t go to that church anyway!
Well here’s the thing (take two), whilst many of us have experienced any number of the objections listed above at one stage or another, they are dreadful excuses for not finding, getting involved in and grafting yourself to a local church. Here’s why:
1. You’re not fine, by yourself, with your Bible, at home.
Church isn’t all about you ninny; it’s about Jesus. Think of this metaphor. Church is like a body. You’re a member of the body. Jesus is the head. Want to be connected to Christ? Be connected to the body! Cut a finger off the body who’s worse off? The finger or the rest of the body?
2. You have something to offer, and maybe it is that you’re too short/too nerdy/too poor/too rich.
God chooses us. And He’s got a plan in mind. He chooses every individual member with intent and has predestined good works for us to live in before the foundation of the world. So it doesn’t matter what your deficiencies are, your characteristics are needed, both by others and to God’s glory.
3. Don’t go on a 10 month excursion to the Amazon, not just yet, you’re needed where you are.
So maybe you’ve had a bad experience. Sorry about that. Truth is just because some group here or there messed up your relationship with them doesn’t negate your obligation to serve God and His people. See, the church isn’t a building that people go to, leave and don’t go back to. The church is the people. You are part of that people. That people need you to be the people they are supposed to be. I’m thinking of Paul right now. I read Romans 16 and Colossians 4 earlier this morning. Paul lists about 36 people in those two chapters that are part of his life and his ministry. Who’s life and ministry are you part of? Who’s part of your life and ministry? You’re required.
Get out of bed. Find a church. Get connected to the body and Head. Live out your life to God’s praise and glory.