It is easy for people to think that Church is the building they see, because if this building was not here, we would be challenged in where and how to meet. The building is the visible part of the church. People see churches down most every street they drive. But when they think of the church, often times they think of it in terms of an institution; an institution that is impersonal, or desiring of only what people can give to it. They think of it as an institution that consists of wire, and glass, and concrete, and brick.
Consequently, I think that people shy away from church because they have forgotten what church really is: it is the people of God, the community of believers. Church is the place where we gather together as God’s people (fellowship), where we learn and grow in our faith (discipleship), and where we are empowered to live a life God calls us to live!
The problem comes when we go to church just for ourselves. How many people show up at church hoping that the songs or the sermon will touch them in a way that will help them get through the next week? But in doing this, they miss out on so much of what church is to be about.
Church is a place to live out the commands Jesus taught us: love God with your whole being, and love others as yourself. Do you see how this is more active? We give our love to God, and God gives His love to us. We are then filled with God’s love so that we might be able to share love with others. In this way, we are participating in worship, in church, not just hoping something comes to us.As a pastor, I love to see vibrant, exciting worship on Sundays. The energy is wonderful and attractive. It draws you into the moment, where the love of God is alive. In times like this, church is not seen as a building, but as an experience, where we are built up in the love, presence, and power of God. Because of this, we can then go out into the world and live our lives with energy and enthusiasm, instead of drudgery. We can truly be the people of God each and every day. Blessings.