I’m working on a message coming up and the topic I chose is the Church. It seemed to be a simple enough concept but honestly, I’m realizing how deep this topic can be. To be honest, I was not surprised but still how deep does the rabbit hole go?
I know that there are things that people have said all through the years about what the Church is and what it should be. But my take on it is that it is more about subtracting all the things Church is not than it is about all the things it is.
In today’s age, the Church has become so many different things. It has become a social club. An event. A political agenda based party. A check off item on your to do list. A way to force others to think the same. A way for you to have friends and keep them in check. A way for some to manipulate the masses. A group that holds the same views as you. For some, it is way to play their type of music and have a little bit of power. For some, it is the place to meet a nice girl or guy. It has also been used as a way to look wholesome. To some, it is a platform to promote their book or ministry so that they can go out into the world. And to some, it is simply a tool to raise funds for their Christian vacations (mission trips that serve those sent more than those they were sent to).
You ask 100 people at one church why they are there and you could get 100 answers. So what is the ultimate reason for the Church? These are thoughts I’ve been thinking through. And before you get to the end of this post, I want you to know that I don’t tell you below. Mainly because I’m not done yet and I didn’t want to provide those answers here but honestly it is because I want you to think about it. I want you to come up with your own conclusions. Think of it as a choose your own adventure.
I will say this:
I was talking with someone recently about a group he’s in (not a church group) and he said that his group was the ultimate group for promoting individuality. He even said that all other groups were really about molding people into what they thought was right and not about celebrating who a person is. But his group was for you to become the best version of yourself.
What a tragedy if that were true in principle and not just function?
This idea has been on my mind ever since we had that discussion because honestly, that’s what I think the Church should be. Simply the idea of a place that gets you back to who God made you to be.
God created you for who you are and not so that you turn into who other people are. Yes, we are all called to be like Jesus. In fact, Christian is a term that means “little Christ.” But you’ll likely look a whole lot like you when He is done with you.
I feel that my friend is right but also a little wrong. Right in the sense that that is the way people tend to approach groups. You become like us and we will accept you. But he’s wrong in the sense that that is not what the Church is supposed to be.
Jesus told us to take up His cross and follow Him. That’s a summary of His command. And then He leaves everything else up to us (no I’m not denying the Holy Spirit just stay with me). We get as close to Him as we’d like to. There is no set amount of money we have to give to move up in Thetan status (joke for the Scientology nerds out there). There is no check list we have to complete to get close to Him. All He tells us to do is pick Him up in our lives and follow Him. Seek first His kingdom and all these other things will be added onto you.
Or more simply, be the best versions of ourselves. He wants us to be His representation to the world. Some could be musicians. Some could be writers or speakers. Others could be plumbers. Or doctors. Teachers. Students. Nurses. Dentists. Cops. Librarians. Sound technicians. AT&T workers (but God prefers Verizon). Blockbuster workers (sorry flashback to 5 years ago). Pastors. English as a second language teachers. Truck drivers. Firefighters. Krispy Kreme Doughnut workers (the holy calling if you ask me!!!). Managers. Graphic designers. IT workers. And a whole lot more.
But God doesn’t want you to be someone else. Yes, He wants to make you like someone else (Jesus and only Him) but it’ll look more like you than you ever thought was possible.
So be the Church. Just be you in the Church. And if you don’t have a church you’re a part of, ask me and I’ll help you find one.