After reading the title, you’re probably thinking, “What on Earth is this girl talking about?” Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that attending church services is bad or that you shouldn’t go. Let’s think about something real quick; how do you define church? What’s the purpose of church regarding your definition?
Maybe you define church as a place you go on “important holidays," a place you go every Sunday to worship God, a place you’re forced to go to, or perhaps a building you go to so that you feel better about yourself. The Bible defines church as not “a church” but “the church”. “The” church is all of the people, in every nation, who believe Jesus is the Son of God. Does that change how you look at church? How about the purpose of church?
As believers we often look at church as social hour, a place where we go to feel good about our relationship with God. We make church services into this time for: “What am I getting out of it?”, “I wish they had sung this instead of that," “I don’t like this song," “They need to do this or that”. We focus so much on ourselves we forget the purpose of church and what it’s for. I’ll give you a hint: A church isn't for you.
The purpose of THE church is to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing God’s love with everyone. THE church doesn’t meet at the same time or in the same place. THE church is every person who believes that Jesus is the son of God, who died and rose again for our sins. It encompasses every believer speaking any language, living in any nation, going to any church service.
“A church” isn’t for you to feel better about yourself. It’s for those who haven’t experienced God first hand. A place for the people to go and hear about Jesus so that they can decide if they believe or not. As members of a local church, we should be constantly thinking about what would make a non believer more comfortable.
We are to reach the next generation. They are the ones who will share their faith with their kids and the generation after. If you are a Christ follower, you are already saved. You don’t need your local church to cater to you. That is why life groups and classes exist, to build community amongst yourselves.
The Bible talks about, in Matthew, parents bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus. The disciples scolded the parents and rebuked them. However, children are important to God, they are the future of demonstrating the love of God to others. Therefore, Jesus said to the disciples and parents, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” He wanted us to love and teach the next generation. The youth should be a priority amongst local churches. They are the next generation and should not be neglected.
The Great Commission directs us to Go and tell the world; this means make it about others. EVERYTHING in the Bible leads us to put others first, why would church be any different? The next time you get negative or expect the local church to revolve around you, remember this. Remember what God has called us to do and make that your priority instead of pleasing yourself.