Why do you go to church?
I think how we answer that question will determine our experience whilst we are there.
There are many people who go to church because the need a “Jesus fix” in order to make it through until the following Sunday. Some will even attend midweek meetings or groups to make sure that Friday and Saturdays are not too difficult to cope with.
Others will go to church simply because that is what they do on a Sunday morning. While others are shopping, going for walks or planning lunch, they sit in a building, sing a few songs, listen to an uplifting talk, drink a cup of tea or coffee, bemoan life in general and then go home, wondering where the weekend has gone.
Many of us will have listened people who complain of songs they didn’t enjoy singing, or that they didn’t “get anything” from the sermon. Some of us may even have been the one complaining. We complain because we have taken time out of our lives to be ministered to, to have our egos massaged and to be sent on our way ready to face “reality.”
It worries me that we have become so reliant on others to provide for our spiritual needs. If the worship team don’t sing our favourite songs, we feel cheated. If the preacher isn’t preaching something that you are comfortable with, we switch off and our mind wanders.
Church isn’t supposed to be a show that we go to in order to critique. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with likeminded people, searching for the heart of our Father in heaven, meeting with Him and allowing Him to minister to us.
It is not the responsibility of others, especially our church leaders to minister to our wants and needs. The bible talks of our leaders being like shepherds. They look after the flock that God has entrusted to them. The thing about sheep is that they feed themselves. Yes, they are cared for and sometimes directed to the best grass by the shepherd, but in terms of finding their own food, and actually chewing it, the sheep do all that by themselves. Why do we expect our leader to not only select our food but to chew it and swallow it for us as well?
The role of the church leader is to equip us, Gods people to walk in the gifting that Father God has equipped up with. Few of us would get fit if all we did was go to a gym and watch others exercise. There are things that we need to do for ourselves.
While I am on the subject of eating, how many of us eat just once a week? We wouldn’t make it past about day three if we didn’t. Why then do so many of us only feed spiritually once a week? God is always speaking, ministering to us, wanting to have relationship. We cannot expect to grow if we don’t feed on Him more that just on a Sunday morning.
Sunday mornings give us an opportunity to worship the God who created the Universe with others. It is a chance for Heaven to change us, and to change our circumstances. God is a God of power, but He is also amazingly gentle. He won’t force Himself on us. I wonder how many of us leave church feeling that God wasn’t really there are feeling that way because we haven’t given Him permission to change us?
If we ask God to meet with us, it is impossible for Him to say no to that request. Will you ask? More than that, will you expect Him to answer?
It’s not sufficient just to turn up and wait for something to happen. It requires us to be expectant, even hungry for something to happen. It means that we need to be ready to be the one who does something to solve the problem we have, not to expect others to do it for us.
We are all part of the body of Christ – we all have a part to play – its not a performance we watch, it’s a play that we are part of.