When I was a child, I didn’t like going to church. I found it to be boring and soporific. I could barely stay awake during Sunday morning services. I liked school better than church because in school I could interact with friends and learning was actually exhilarating. I didn’t learn anything in church because my learning style wasn’t addressed there. School knew how to impart knowledge by using different methods. Church for me was too centered on the person leading the service. I felt left out, I felt like everything that was being said didn’t apply to me. I couldn’t personalize any of it other than the condemnation piece. Then when I was a little older, I got saved and I attended more charismatic churches. I liked them a lot but I was weirded out by the way people praised the Lord. The singing was beautiful but seeing hands going up to Heaven, people smiling and rejoicing just irked me for some reason. Those people were too “churchy” and I found it odd. However, I did want what they had. I loved their zeal and their enthusiasm. I just didn’t have it in me.
After I had the encounter with the Lord that turned my life upside down, I got plugged into the Holy Spirit and all my preconceived notions of what church was all about went away. It was easy to praise God with my hands up. It was normal and natural to be rejoicing about Jesus. Something changed inside and it was visible on the outside. Jesus touched my heart and my life reflected His amazing impact. One of the first things I realized was that as Christians we are the church. We are the body of Christ. Church is not just a building. Church is not alive on Sunday and dead throughout the rest of the week. Church is us. We are to be Christ followers and worshippers all the time. Friend, you are the church. You might be attending services in a place of worship and that is excellent but you yourself are a place of worship. You are to give yourself to worship and celebrate the Lord all the time.
A church is defined primarily as a place of Christian worship, Christ being the cornerstone of the church. Jesus is the foundation of that place. Everything in a church should be hinging upon the Lord. As the church, we should have the Lord as our foundation. We should be God’s house. After all the Spirit of the Lord dwells in us. He is in the physical building where we gather but He is also in our hearts, in our spirits. Being the church means that we can adore, praise and worship the Lord anytime. We can do that through our singing and through our lives in general. Our lives should be preaching to the crowds. We should be a place of comfort for people. Many churches are welcoming people telling them that they can feel at home there. People should feel at home with us because we have the Lord’s love in us. It’s up to us to release and express it. We are the welcoming church that should be showing love to everyone and not just those we deem worthy of love.
Some people dear to my heart don’t go to church because they don’t have anywhere to go. They have a few church options but none of those establishments embrace the way they love Jesus so they would rather not go to church. I have to say that those folks are very “churchy” and they are on fire for the Lord more than some people who attend church. They understand that they are the church. They fellowship in their homes, they have threads on social media where they “have church”, they have prayer calls, they have worship time every day. They understand what it means to be the church. They study the Word of God all the time, they love their neighbors like themselves. They are humble. They are eager to learn from the Holy Spirit. They welcome the Spirit of God all the time. They repent, they pray, they have a vision for the world. Their vision is to spread God’s Word with love as the diffuser and faith as their supporter. Friend, we are the church. Let’s be the church every day. Let’s be the way the Lord wants us to be. Let’s be the ones the world needs every day! We are the church!
Suggested reading: Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Colossians 1:24