There’s more to that statement, and I’ll complete the sentence in a moment.
Going suggests a place, and, when we go somewhere, we usually have a reason.
I go to the local supermarket because I need groceries.
I go to the gas station (usually a convenience store) because I need fuel for the car.
I go to the library because I’m cheap and want to watch a movie.
I go to … because … You get the idea.
If church is someplace to go, what’s my reason for going?
A worship experience?
A timely word from the pulpit?
And if my need isn’t fulfilled, then what do I do? For most people the answer would be, go somewhere else. The somewhere else may be another church place or it may be nothing so “spiritual” as that.
Now for the whole statement.
“When we stopped going to church and started being the church, something wonderful happened.”*
In life, I do things. I am things.
Depending on my point of view, church can fit into either category. And my perspective on church (it’s where we go vs. it’s who we are) makes a huge difference.
Things I do: read, write, preach, wash clothes, play basketball, mow the lawn, gripe about the weather, make awesome cinnamon rolls (for real!).
Things I am: a son, a brother, a friend, a husband, a father.
Let me pull one thing out of the I am list—a husband.
What makes me a husband is my relationship with Ellen. We’re married (I know, I know. I’m only stating the obvious). We’ve taken vows and they remain intact to this day. We’re committed to one another (and I might add more deeply in love than ever).
Has married life always been easy? No.
Has our relationship been strained? Yes.
But we’ve remained steadfast and faithful to one another. And the pleasure of our commitment has multiplied over the years.
Okay, here’s the point. When I examine the I am category, I find the list involves my relationships with others. I am a son because I have parents. I am a brother because I have siblings. I am a father because I have a son. I am a husband because I have a wife.
Now back to going vs. being the church.
If I’m going to church, I have to have a reason. If the reason’s not good enough, I go elsewhere or stop going altogether. My attitude toward church is similar to my attitude toward the grocery store. I’m there if I need something. I’m not if I don’t. I’m simply a religious consumer.
On the other hand, if I be the church, the being means I have a relationship with someone. I’m not a consumer but a partner, first with Jesus Christ then with those who call Him Lord.
I’m curious. Which one best describes you—a person who thinks of church as a place to go or a community to be?
*Stutzman, Paul V. (2012-03-01). Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail (p. 268). Baker Book Group.
Two men. Two eternal destinies.
One common hope.
A poignant and compelling portrayal of heaven and hell, with a powerful look at redemption from the perspective of both the lost…and the saved. Well done!–Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author of You Don’t Know Me.
“Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes” was a compelling read for me. The vivid descriptions challenged and ignited my imagination. Tom skillfully laid out a clever story that caused me to think and made me want to read to the end.–Ron Fruit GM, WRCO Radio
For more of what People Are Saying follow link.
Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes can be found at:
If you enjoyed today’s post, consider subscribing. Each new post will come directly to your email inbox. Check out the Email Subscription box in the right-hand column.