When you hear the word “church” what are the first thoughts that cross your mind? God…A building… Love… Hate… Money… Jesus… People… The Bible… Weird… Sacrifice… Judgmental… Community… Heaven… Just as varied as the responses to this question are people’s experiences with The Church. Some people have had amazing and life-changing experiences, while others have experienced heartache and hurt.
There is a phrase that I’ve heard quite a few times that really stands out to me. It goes something like this: “I like Jesus but I can’t stand His followers…” or some variation of the same idea. And to be honest with you…I get it! Sometimes I feel the very same way! I love Jesus, but I get so frustrated by the lack of love and the hoarding of grace by so-called Christ Followers!
I think it’s important for us to look at what it means to be Christ’s Church. Again, we have all had different experiences with going to church; but what does it mean to BE the church? How can we fulfill the calling of Christ to be the church?
I love Jesus, but I get so frustrated by the lack of love and the hoarding of grace by so-called Christ Followers!
It starts with bringing our definition of church into line with Christ’s desire for what the church should be…its time for us to rethink, redefine, and refine our ideas of what church is! In order to do this, we need to take a look at what The Bible says the church is.
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4-5
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit.” -Ephesians 2:19-22
...its time for us to rethink, redefine, and refine our ideas of what church is!
As we read through Scripture we learn that the church is not a place… the church is a people! Anyone who is a Follower of Christ… you…me… WE are the church! So how can we BE the church?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
This is where we start… by loving one another.
When you hear the word church what first comes to mind? What have your experiences with The Church been? We would love to hear your story! Tell us in the comments below.