I grew up in the pew. I know the drill.
Church was never something my sisters and I questioned because we knew that we knew. Every Sunday, as a family, we go to church. Period.
But now I’m an adult. I no longer wear poofy bows and frilly dresses (thanks for that, mom), but I also can’t help but question a few things. Like, has church become another thing to do?
I get it. I really do. Commitment is good. Consistency is necessary. Attendance and involvement and participation all build a foundation of stability for ones life. But what happens when the system you’ve lived and know so well, and the culture that should be helping you grow spiritually becomes the very thing to hinder your growth?
Church asks you to get involved with volunteering opportunities that have nothing to do with how you’re wired.
Church invites you to attend events and programs and gatherings that conflict with other functions going on in your life, and you’re made to feel guilty if and when you don’t choose the church.
Church encourages you to invite your non-Christian friends to a location that makes them feel more uncomfortable than having a root canal done, and you’re stuck in the middle.
Church asks you to engage and participate with what they’re doing, but when you do engage with questions because that’s how you participate, you immediately sense the tension and retreat.
I guess I haven’t figured out how to be a human robot, because to me, that’s what I feel the church is asking me to be. And when I don’t know how to be something, that’s when it becomes yet another thing I mindlessly do. Make sense?
Translation: I want to be the church, really I do. But in some weird subliminal way, I constantly feel the pressure to simply do church. Am I alone in this? I really don’t think I am.
Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car. -G.K. Chesterton
So I can’t do it anymore.
Unwilling to play the games.
Uninterested in wearing the facades.
And I can’t reconcile that this is what Jesus meant when he said, Come, follow me. Following implies full-time, doesn’t it? If He wanted faith to be a weekly/building/institutionalized/part-time thing, wouldn’t He have said, come visit?
Which is why I can’t help but ask the question:
Has church become another thing to do?
Go to work – check.
Do the laundry – check.
Work out – check.
Pick up groceries – check.
Go to church – check.
I know there are no answers. And I’m not actually looking for an answer. I’m more so done with expecting the institution to be my answer, and instead, I’m going to ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand how I can be the church to the world around me.
Being The Church
I want Him to use me.
I want to be involved.
I want to be engaged.
I want to be affective.
I want to come alive in my faith and not be burnt out by the machine.
I want my life to look like this:
Go to work and be the church to my colleagues.
Do the laundry and be the church to my family.
Work out and be the church to those around me.
Pick up groceries and be the church at the store.
Go to church and be the church when I leave.
This kind of lifestyle has nothing to do with doing and everything to do with being.
It’s a lifestyle that can’t be checked off a list as something to do because it’s who you are – inside, outside, all day, everyday.
So there you have it. Has church become another thing to do? Truth be told, it used to be for me. But not anymore.
God is not calling us to go to church; He is calling us to be His church, the hope of the world. -Craig Groeschel