Take Me Back

What do you tell your kids when they ask, “Do we have to go to church?” Or “Why do we have to go to church?”

My response is, “We don’t have to go. God is good, he has saved us by his grace through Jesus, and we choose to worship him with the church.”

Christ established the church and it is God’s chosen vehicle for His kingdom mission.

Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 

To the early church, “church” wasn’t a building. The Church is the gathered body of believers, both thought history and in local expressions, that assemble with the purpose to worship God, edify each other, and carry out his mission on earth.

“Fundamentally, the church of Jesus Christ is neither a building nor an organization. Rather, it is a people, a special people, a people who see themselves as standing in relationship to the God who saves them and to each other as those who share salvation.” (Gernz)

We were created to live in community, with other Christians, and worship God in the beauty of his holiness. And as we worship, we also gather together as one body, Christ’s church, to bring glory to His name together.

“We do not enter into a building and then commence to worship. If you are not worshipping God on Monday morning, as you worshipped him the day before, perhaps you are not worshipping him at all.” (A.W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, p.27)

The church isn’t perfect, its full of people who are saved by his grace who gather together to worship God. If you haven’t been to a church worship service, maybe it’s time to “go to church” – check out this song from Cochren & Co – Church (Take me back)


Read more...

Taking Attendance

I recently heard someone say the average Christian family attends a Sunday worship service 1.5 times a month. A regular attender is someone who attends a worship service 2 times a month.
 
Do you agree with that stat? I hate stats, but I think this tells us something about the priorities of many Christians, even myself. 
 
If we attend a worship service once a week, that would basically be 1 hour out of 168 hours in a week = 1/168. So 2/672 would be how much time an average Christian family attends church in a month. 
 

If you sat down and plotted your attendance, what would it honestly be? Are you happy with that?

 
As I ponder these thoughts, there are two things that come to mind:
 
1) God Doesn’t Take Attendance
 
He doesn’t take attendance like a teacher who is looking for who is present. He doesn’t take attendance in such a way  that we would get a  credit or a grade for showing up. God desires us to follow him with out whole heart.
 
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37
 
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

Our lives, lived out as a living sacrifice for God’s glory, is also extremely important was we aim to disciple our children and instruct them in the ways in which they can follow God. 

You are the primary influence in your child’s life.

 
2) What’s the Point of a Church Worship Service?
I believe, first and foremost, we gather together on Sundays to worship the Lord God together. I can sit on my couch, turn up the Rend Collective and enjoy the Word of God. However, there is something special about meeting together to worship God. I think this might be the focus of my next post, but in the mean time, consider Hebrews 10:19-25:
 
19″Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
 
Personally, for my own life, 1/168 is not enough! 4/672 is not enough either. 
 
God fill me with your Holy Spirit today that I may walk with you, love my neighbours, and make disciples wherever you send me.

Read more...