What Is Church?

“Well, you know, I’m Catholic so it doesn’t really matter what church we go to” my dental assistant told me as we made small talk about Easter plans. The comment was interesting and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since she said it. Now, I think plenty of Catholics are committed to a single church. I’m not here to comment on different sects of Christianity. No, what I found most interesting was her concept of what church is.

It’s fascinating how every Easter and Christmas our church prepares for an increase in attendance. Don’t get me wrong, I love when new people come to check out our church. But I do find it interesting that there’s almost this cultural obligation to attend church on certain “religious” dates.

Because here’s the thing: church is not a place-it’s a family. It does matter what church we go to. When you look at the early church the way Jesus modeled it, there was no single building. It was a following of close, committed people who supported each other’s faith.

Today, it’s easy to just become a church consumer. We consume the message, consume the worship, consume the donuts. Yet we give very little and avoid investing in the lives of others. Maybe we throw a few dollars in the basket to pay for whatever the church needs but it’s more to save face or ease guilt than anything else. Friends, this is not the vision of church Christ gave us. We are not consumers at the church grocery store filling up on what we need for the week and leaving. We are living out the kingdom of God.

Church is service and commitment to the growth of your fellow believers. It’s about using your gifts that God gave you specifically to pour into the lives of others. That can be building something or participating in a community group or serving in the kids ministry. Church can be so much more than a place.

So my prayer for us today is to let go of our selfish consumer mindsets and connect with the beautiful community God intends for you to have and pour into. Let’s step out in faith and see how much more church has to offer-and how much more we have to offer church.

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” -Ephesians 2:19-22

“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:25

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