No worries, I still go to church. 🙂
I just really wanted you to click on this link and I was sure curiosity would get the best of you and you would just have to see how I can justify not going to church. 🙂
I still go to church, but I quit going with my own agenda in mind.
What is church really?
I always looked at church as a connection to God, as a way to replenish my spiritual buckets to get me through another week. I looked at church as a way to learn more about God, and I thought it to be my duty as a christian.
I thought church was for me.
For me to learn something new, for me to worship corporately, and for me to find renewed strength, revelation, hope and joy.
I thought church was for me.
One of our DTS speakers put it a little differently.
We should go to church not for what we can get out of it for ourselves, but for what we can give to someone else.
I had honestly never even considered that, I had never even considered the fact that I had anything to give to anybody.
Which reminds me of a quote I heard once.
God meant for us to be rivers, not ponds.
A river is constantly receiving water from other sources, it then takes that water and passes it on, allowing it to fill another source, it doesn’t just store it up somewhere, it shares the bounty it has received.
A pond on the other hand receives but doesn’t give.
As christians, we should be rivers, constantly receiving, constantly being filled up by The Holy Spirit, but we should also be passing on the blessings and love that we received. We should be encouragers who pour into other people.
Don’t be a pond, because it doesn’t matter how much good water you collect, if it just sits there it will get stagnant and smelly. 🙂
Did you know…
That you don’t need church?
I always thought it’s my duty as a christian to go to church.
Because if I’m making it about things I need to do, then I’m hanging out dangerously close to that religious line.
Rather what I do should stem from a desire to live intentionally for Christ, it should come from my heart, a deep inner desire to serve him, to honor him and to bring glory to his name in everything I do.
Even going to church should be done to serve him.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to church just because you don’t feel like it, because in my experience: there’s times in my christian walk when I’m doing things because I want to, because theres this fire in my heart, thats driving me forward.
Then theres those other times…
Those times when all I want to do is crawl in a hole and hide from the world, but I force myself to move forward and engage in ‘church things’ because I know it’s what I need, even if I don’t feel like doing it.
Still, it’s not about going to church.
It’s about fellowship, it’s about being connected to a group of believers.
Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
In other words, going to church but not getting involved, not connecting with the people of the church, doesn’t count, that would be making it about going to church, it would be about putting in time for God, on Sunday, just to make yourself feel good about your christian walk.
No, you don’t need church. You need fellowship with other christians.
Changing the church mindset.
I never liked church. Not as a child and not as an adult.
For one, there’s way too many people. ( I know, that would be what makes it a church but crowds just kinda drive me crazy.)
And two, church is where you get judged on your christianity. (This doesn’t really apply to all churches and yet more often then not it does. Think about it: church is the one place where we try to put on the best christian act we own, when in reality it should be the one place where we can be the most vulnerable about our struggles.)
Yea, we definitely got it a bit backwards.
In case you’re wondering: No, I still don’t really like church. I love the people though.
Here’s a bit of my story.
When we started going to Threshold I didn’t like it at all.
Not even a little bit.
I’m pretty convinced it was the most unfriendly church I ever walked into. I think you could go there for a year straight and walk out at the end of the service without talking to a single person.
We went to a couple different churches but always we would end up back at Threshold.
We felt it was where God wanted us to go.
So we set some goals.
We joined a life group. We started going to pre-service prayer and we tried to talk to at least one new person every week.
It’s been a journey but we are so glad we stayed there, because once you get involved there you’ll find a goldmine. You’ll find passionate christians, who have a heart for prayer, worship and the people of Lancaster county. Threshold really is an awesome church, you just have to dig a little deeper to find it.
Other churches might look good on the surface but when you delve a little deeper, you’ll find they have many problems, so you see, each church has its upsides and downsides.
What God really brought to light for us when he took us to Threshold was this: ‘We’ve got to stop going to church for what we benefit from it, instead we need to take what God has given us and pass it on.’
Every time I complained to God about how hard it is to connect to these people. He had only one answer.
Be the change you want to see.
I believe each individual in every church has their own role to fill. God has put you there for a reason, you have something to give to this church that no one else has.
It might not be a huge thing, it might be as simple as a friendly greeting to the person sitting beside you, but if you’re just going to church for what you will get out of it, someone will miss out on what you have been called to give, and you will miss out on the blessing that comes from giving.
One more thing…
Before this blog gives you the opinion that I go to church every Sunday and make every visitor feel overly welcome, or that I spend my Sundays pouring into people…
Let me assure you: I don’t. Maybe that’s my longterm goal but I’m still so very far from it.
Just to be clear: It is ok to be a receiver at church, we can’t all give if no one is receiving and if we are going to give productively, we need to receive as well or we’ll run dry.
We just need to adjust our thinking from: We are going to church to take, to realizing that we also have something to give.
Be a river not a pond. 🙂