Sunday, April 15, 2012

What is Church?

I am confused about the church. I don't know why I go to church anymore (only that my husband excepts it of me). I know that I am not happy with KWCC. I know that they are not a biblical run church (even if they say they are). I am trying to research for myself what a 'biblical run church' is, why go to church and how to find a church to attended. My whole life I have just attended churches that my parents choose for our family, in college I attended church that my aunt and uncle attended and now I go to a church that my husband has attended for his whole life. I have never had to look into church doctrine or asked myself 'do I think this is a place that I can learn, grow and serve God?' Now that I am a mother, I have not just myself to think of but my daughter as well. I want her to grow up in a body of believers that follow the biblical example of 'church' that we have been given. I want her to love God and love people. Period. What is church? The founder of the "home church" movement in England, Canon Ernest Southcott, said it best: "The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God’s people—strengthened by preaching and sacrament—go out of the church door into the world to be the church. We don’t go to church; we are the church." The church, therefore, is not a place. It's not the building, it's not the location, and it's not the denomination. We—God's people who are in Christ Jesus—are the church. The purpose of the church is two-fold. The church comes together (or assembles) for the purpose of bringing each member to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:13). The church reaches out (scatters) to spread the love of Christ and the gospel message to unbelievers in the world (Matthew 28:18-20). This is the Great Commission. So, the purpose of the church is to minister to believers and unbelievers. Do I attend a place of worship that believes this? No, not that I have seen. When looking at churches ask this question: Is this church a place where I can connect with God and worship him freely? Will I learn about the Bible here? Is fellowship and community encouraged? Are people's lives being changed? Is there a place for me to serve in the church, and opportunities to pray with other believers? Does the church "reach out" by sending missionaries, and through financial giving and local outreach? Is this where God wants me to be? If you can say yes to these questions, then you've found a good church home. Advice when searching for a church family: Remember, there is no perfect church. Visit a church at least three times before making a decision either way. Don’t try to change a church. Most of them are set in their mission. There are so many different ones out there to choose from, it’s best to just find one that's a good “fit” for you. Don't give up. Keeping searching until you find the right church. Being in a good church is too important to neglect. This is what I am looking for - A Christ-like church: filled with the Holy Spirit, prayerful, Bible based doctrine, with passion for evangelism and display of high moral standard. —Guest Luk- 3T, Akure This really hit home with me and will give me lots to think and pray about: So, if you are disillusioned with church, perhaps the problem is not "church in general," but rather the type of churches you have experienced thus far. Have you done an exhaustive search to find a good church? Perhaps you have never attended a healthy, balanced Christian church? They really do exist. I would encourage you not to give up, but continue to search for a Christ-centered, biblical-balanced church. But as you search, remember also, churches are imperfect. They are full of flawed people. However, we can't let other people's mistakes keep us from a genuine relationship with God and all of the blessings he has planned for us as we relate within his body.

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