The Purpose of the Church

Today is Sunday. Most of us, hopefully, attended church services, where we worshipped with fellow believers, heard scripture and perhaps participated in the Lord’s Supper. One of the reasons that I attend church on a regular basis is to connect with fellow believers, as we are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ. Another reason, is to be inspired by God’s word, whether it’s the scripture reading for that day or perhaps the pastor’s sermon. At times, it may even be the words to a song that brings me closer to the Lord.

Sometimes I go “church shopping,” because I get frustrated with something that may or may not be happening in my church. Or, perhaps I’m bored, and want to experience a church that provides more entertainment. But, is that what church is meant to be? Do you find yourself saying, “Ah, that was a good message,” or “The choir sounded so good today.” What if the choir sounded awful? What if the organist made lots of mistakes? Do we criticize? Do we judge? Is this what church means to us? I don’t think this was God’s intention for His church.

This brings me to a discussion of the mega churches today. Great music–worship bands that are comprised of professional musicians. I once knew a church that paid professional musicians over $400 each to play on Easter Sunday–they had a 30-piece orchestra. They have pastors that have dynamic stage presence. They make the message captivating and entertaining, therefore making it memorable. At first, I thought that this is all good. It’s a great way to get the message out to unbelievers and those that have fallen away from the traditional church. Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). Whatever way you can get them to faith, right?

But let’s look at the example of Jesus. He gave this instruction to his disciples–a small group of common folk. There was no fanfare when Jesus came to preach. He associated with the poor, the humble and the sinners. He spoke His Father’s word, and didn’t use entertainment to capture the crowd’s attention. Maybe the church has become too concerned with how we get people inside versus how it can go outside.

Jesus traveled with His disciples, teaching and preaching God’s Word. He didn’t build a church with brick and mortar. He took the Word to others. Even after His death and resurrection, the early church met in homes where they inspired each other to continue the mission of bringing others to Christ.

Spending every Sunday morning in church is great inspiration, but what is your church doing beyond the Sunday morning services to bring others to Christ? What are you doing personally? Are we using the church as a means to seek salvation for ourselves or a means to bring others to salvation?

I invite others to comment on what they think the purpose of the church is meant to be and share how your church is helping to build the Kingdom of God.

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Celebrate Freedom to be a Christian

As I sit here writing this blog on the eve of our nation’s birthday, I hear people outside laughing and celebrating by shooting off fireworks and fire crackers. Tomorrow, people will gather at community parades to see floats, hear marching bands and shake hands with politicians. Once it is dark, bigger and brighter fireworks will light up the sky, and people will gaze up and slowly repeat, “oooh, ahhh.”

It’s a celebration–a celebration of freedom. Freedom of religion. Freedom to worship. But as Christians, how free are we really? We are free to attend church and worship within the confines of those buildings and our home, but what about outside of those areas? Are we free to worship in school, to pray if we so desire? No, if we mention God or speak of Christianity, we may “offend” someone. We no longer speak of Christmas or Easter. It’s Winter Break, Happy Holidays, and Spring Break. We have taken the “under God” out of “one nation”. I wonder, how has Christianity become offensive, and where is the Christian’s freedom?

John Adams, our second U.S. President and signer of the Declaration of Independence said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” Our government today, as well as the liberal left, are trying to remove any trace of Biblical/Christian ideas that were the foundation of this nation.

As Christians, how do we deal with this situation? Well, I believe most of us remain quiet. We accept teachers who tell us that Creationism is a myth. We don’t pray in public. We learn to say “Happy Holidays,” even though we celebrate the birth of Christ. Are we afraid? Embarrassed, perhaps? And how does God feel when he looks down on us? On this country? I would think He is sad, as He sees a country pulling further away from Him and His word, and as He sees His people continue to show acts of denial.

We should be celebrating! Celebrating that we have a God who loves us, protects us and promises to take us to be with Him for eternity in a place where there will be celebrations every day. We should be dancing in the streets, thanking and praising Him for everything He does. He gave us this wonderful country, which gave us the freedom to be children of God without being ridiculed.

So, shoot those fireworks off and shout out praises to the Lord. Make July 4th a celebration of the gift that God gave our forefathers so many years ago. Remember that we are, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Yes, even for Christians!

Psalm 33:12–What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen for his own. 

Let’s show everyone that we are truly joyful, because we are His! Read more of this post

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