I grew up in the church and have served in the local church since my junior year in college, so it may seem overly obvious that I think the church is important. There is an interesting “rub” when you are a part of the church as a member and also a part of the church as “paid staff.” While you are a member, it’s also your job to be there, but that’s perhaps another discussion. Yesterday’s worship experience reminded my why the church is important.
The very quick back story is that a couple of weeks ago my wife and I took vacation and had a Sunday off. We enjoyed attending another church in our area and simply being participants in the service rather than leading. As with everyone else I’m sure, the first week back from vacation is the “re-entry period.” Catching up on emails and phone calls, getting back into groove of the work schedule and moving out of vacation mode. So, this Sunday was my first Sunday back. It was a great reminder why the church is important.
As we sang together, I was struck by the fact that I was worshiping with people I know – my church family and friends. I know some of the challenges we have faced and how God has been faithful to us. Even though we are broken people and dinged up a little (or a lot) by our life experiences, we stand together as His church and worship. It’s not because of our goodness, but His grace. Similar to what I wrote a couple of months back, I was struck again by the fact the God accepts us and wants us to worship Him.
During the message, the scripture was not just a challenge to individual followers, but to the church as a whole. While each of us is responsible for our personal development and growth, there is also the reality that we are in this together and God calls the church as a body to be just that – His body. One person can’t be the church on his/her own. We are in it together.
There are some who criticize the church and we do have our flaws, but yesterday was a good reminder to me that the church really is important. I need the time together with my church family to worship, study and be reminded of what we are called to do and be.