Somehow this distorted idea that we church shop to find the best church where all our needs are met crept into American Christianity. When we come into a church with all kinds of expectations of how a particular church or pastor will serve, we come with the wrong mentality. Moreover, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Church life is like family life where all are going through life as a community facing all the challenges those relationships bring, rejoicing in success and sharing in the sorrows.
The church isn’t About Services and Meetings
When looking for a church community to join, one needs to simply ask God where it is He would have them belong. The church isn’t about services and meetings. We are the Church every day and when we share that Christian life with a particular community of believers we are invested in relationships in that community. Our question should “not be what rights do I have, but how can I serve my brothers and sisters in the Lord.”
The Sunday meeting is a small part of what Church life is about
We come together to worship, learn, and fellowship in meetings, but we also become part of the family of that church. If we are simply attending meetings to put in our dues to God, we have missed the point completely. If we are shopping for a church as we shop for a car we have missed it by a landslide.
Of course, there are healthy church communities and unhealthy ones, but even the healthiest will disappoint if you are looking for them to be your sustenance instead of the Lord. Being in a family is walking through life through sickness and health. Often times, we hold grudges against the church for how a person hurt us or offended us and we are so quick to forget our own failings. We forget that we have hurt people and offended people. We forget how others have forgiven us and we withhold our forgiveness. The church is made up of imperfect people and each of us is one of those imperfect persons.
Certainly, we want to be sure that the doctrines embraced by the community are soundly Scriptural and that we feel comfortable investing ourselves into the life of that community. We don’t choose what family we are born into, but we can choose what church fellowship we join, but it ought to become our adopted family where we journey life together.
Compassion and Love for the Bride of Christ
We must dispense with the entitlement mentality of selfishness and carry the heart of a servant full of compassion and love for the Bride of Christ being other-centered instead of self-centered.
When we look at church based on “what it can do for me”, we lack the heart of the Lord who died for us to give us life. He sacrificed His perfect life while we were yet sinners. Somehow we think we are better than the ones we scorn and yet the unforgiveness looms in our hearts.
We need to ask God what family of believers He has for us to belong all the while knowing that it will not be easy sailing for relationships have their ups and downs. We need to be prepared for it to get messy sometimes knowing that we are all learning on this road together. However, if we know we are where God wants us we can weather the storms that come and rejoice in the jubilant times with thanksgiving.