I LOVE the church. I love that my kids wake up talking about their ‘church family’ every Sunday. I love being WITH these people - through the ups and downs and awkward and awesome moments. I love how God uses others to bless, care for and speak through. I love how we find so much identity, meaning, and purpose when we see ourselves as part of something bigger than ourselves. I believe that church family can change the world more than anything in the world. I've been loving teaching through 1 Corinthians in a series called ‘Some Assembly Required’ this summer. Here's where we've been so far...
WHY BE A PART OF THE CHURCH?
1 | CULTURE. Church is where I get the wisdom of God. Wisdom is the collected experience/common sense of a group of people living in the same ways together. The people we surround ourselves with, the wisdom & insight we listen to... these things shape us. Being in an environment that regularly thinks through and discusses - values - spirituality and the teachings of Jesus form & reinforce those things in our life. We are people headed in the same direction, with the same values. This shapes our culture, our daily lives, & who we are. | 1 Corinthians 1-2
2 | PRIORITIES. Being a part of the church is one of the most important ways & places where I practice making Jesus the FIRST & most important thing. If you want to know what's most important in your life - what your priorities are - think about the thing/activity/people you say NO/I CAN'T to LEAST often. (Or put another way, YES to MOST often.) Jesus as our foundation means we put him first and foremost in our life.
1 Corinthians 3
We live in a non-commital culture where ironically most miss out on the best thing for us because we are fearful and anxious about committing ourselves or our children to something that may not be the best thing for us. Could it be that commitment, habit, and simply showing up over and over again matters and is more formative today in our non-commital culture than ever before? You worship something....whether it be money, work, power, popularity, self. The question isn't whether you worship, but what you worship. Gathering with the church helps re-order what we worship.
- Dan Sadlier
3 | RELATIONSHIPS. We miss out on so much when we approach life from an individual standpoint. Not only do we miss out on the joy of community, but also the personal growth that comes from it. Church is one of the only/best places I know of that provides the love, acceptance and grace required for people to grow in every area into the people God has created them to be. Further, we don't simply ask What's in it for me? in the church, but also how I can contribute to the growth of others? It's only in community that mentorships and spiritual parenting can happen.
1 Corinthians 4
4 | GROWTH. Church is where I get help from people who love me. I see things/myself from a different perspective (most often a better one, as others tend to see more/better in us than we do in ourselves and can call it out in us!) However, when we're known intimately (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and still accepted, we have the opportunity to develop character & holiness - to grow as a person. I also grow by not only being with people like me or people that agree with me. This goes beyond tolerance to diversity! | 1 Corinthians 5-6
For a few more thoughts, check out this article from Relevant Magazine entitled Why Can't I Just Go to Church Online?