Why do you go to church? Do you go for the worship? The message? To see a Friend, keep an appointment or fulfil all righteousness? All of the above? Is church your escape when things aren’t going well? After all, Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest.” All around the world, millions of people go to church every Sunday, and for some, it’s something that’s become a life-pattern, a tradition and nothing more. Church can become something we just attend.
Jesus never called us to attend church. Jesus calls us to experience, to grow, and to ultimately be the church.
The church is not the building. It is the assembly of believers of Jesus Christ, who gathered to worship and glorify God, to build each other up and grow into more mature followers, who could then go out and change the world.
The idea of gathering together as the church is to equip ourselves with the mission that Jesus gave us. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8b)
So how can you be sure you are someone who experiences church and doesn’t just “attend” it?
1. Building our faith through worship – Worship is more than just singing songs together, it’s a time where we glorify and praise God, to give Him all the honour and humble ourselves before Him.
2. Equipping our spirit through the message – The sermon, of a church service is designed to give us practical applications and teachings so that we can understand what happened over 2,000 years ago, and how it applies to us today.
3. Applying the experience to our daily lives – The church is a place to equip ourselves to go back out into the world. It is our headquarters, where we come to rest and equip ourselves with the armour and weapons of God, so we can face the challenges on the world.
4. Joining together to be kingdom builders – We are the church, and Jesus calls us to build the kingdom of God in our home, our community, nation, and world. Each of us is only one person, but together we form the body of Christ, and this gives us the capacity to be chain breakers, world changers, and we can help to bring the kingdom of God here on earth, as it is in heaven.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10: 24-25)
Don’t just attend church, experience it and apply it. Go out and be the church to someone who needs it!
Remember, we here, are committed to raising ‘Transformed’ individuals through the help of the Holy Spirit to influence transformation in the lives of others, impacting the community.
Welcome to the real Church.
God bless you real good.
Your Vicar and friend
The Revd. Canon Kiri Wakama