I was talking to a tech guy at a computer store and somehow we got to chatting about my church. I explained to him that I loved my church, and I invited him to attend if he didn’t already have a home church. He was gracious and explained that although he was a Christian, for personal reasons, he chose not to attend church.
I desired to explain to him how much the church aspect of the Body of Christ has strengthened and transformed my faith, but no matter how I tried to explain my thoughts, I always came out sounding “religious.” But how could I explain to this man that it’s not about checking the “church box” on our to-do list. It’s about encouraging and admonishing fellow sojourners in this temporal world and living out our faith together. God’s Church is not perfect, but He surely is, and He moves mightily through a throng of people who are pressing toward one goal: daily leading people closer to Christ.
Several weeks later, I was driving home from the dentist. It seems that my one and only wisdom tooth has not stopped growing. In fact, it is much longer than the other teeth in my mouth. The dentist explained that since the tooth has no abutting tooth, there is nothing to halt its growth. My one “unwise” tooth has grown so long that it has been chewing into my bottom gum. I have this beautiful tooth that is completely useless. Moreover, it has become a nuisance to the rest of my mouth and needs to be pulled out!
I fear that’s what can happen to Christians who choose not to attend church. We are all seemingly holy and perfect when we are alone, but put us around people, and we’ll blow it every time. It is the Body of Christ that develops our faith and protects us from our own inner growth of selfishness, and the Church is the Crown Jewel of this Body. No church is ever perfect, but they each are given a special revelation of God’s Kingdom. As long as Jesus and salvation through the cross play center stage, the church will be a mighty force of God. We need to be a part of this force.
The more we unite, the stronger we will be for Jesus!
“Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”
– 1 Timothy 3.14-15 (NIV)
“Father, help me to stay committed to my church. I don’t want to go to church to check off some box in my conscience. I want to go to church, expectantly knowing that I will hear from You and see You move in the lives of those around me. I know that no church will ever be perfect, but I believe that my faith will thrive in the church You plant me….”
Alisa Hope Wagner