I’ve been thinking a lot about the church recently – and I’m concerned. I admit that one reason that the church has been on my mind is that is how I make my living. Pastors and churches just seem to go together. Another reason that the church has been on my mind is because I’m teaching a class called The Church in the World Today. So my concern is somewhat self-serving and not without a certain bias. But it goes deeper than that. I’m concerned about the church because most Christians that I know aren’t. That is, they aren’t concerned. The church just isn’t that important to them. They can take it or leave it – and many of them leave it on Sunday morning.
We tend to value those things (and people) who are important to us. Their value is reflected in the time, energy, and resources we devote to them. It’s difficult to convince someone that they are important to you if you never spend time with them, don’t invest any energy into the relationship or fail to devote resources to their care and happiness. Just ask your spouse. This is where many marriages fall apart. And it’s why many churches are falling apart. We want our church but we don’t want to personally invest what is necessary for it to be a healthy church. Someone else will do it. Someone else will be there.
What we forget is that the church is important to God. The church was His idea (Matthew 16: 18); He gave birth to the church (Acts 2); He empowers the church (1 Corinthians 12); He loves the church and sacrificed His Son for her (Ephesians 5:25); someday He will present the church as a spotless bride (Ephesians 5:26-27). Here’s the point: Whatever is important to God should be important to us. I know that mentally we agree with that statement but our actions betray us. Be honest – how important is your church in your life?
I know the excuses: my church isn’t exciting; the music isn’t contemporary; the pastor is boring; it’s too small; it doesn’t offer what I need; I don’t get anything out of the services – go ahead and add your excuse. Some of that is true, some isn’t. It doesn’t matter. No matter how small, traditional or boring your church is, remember this, it’s still important to God.
God doesn’t measure churches on their size, the style of worship or their level on the excitement meter. He does measure Christians, however, on their faithfulness to their church (Hebrews 10:25). He expects whatever is important to Him to also be important to them.
Stay in the Word