What is the purpose of the church? Why do we exist as a community? Is it simply to be a place to make friends? Is it a place to go to get help or free counseling? Can I suggest that the church is meant for so much more than simply meeting my felt needs. The Church is the Body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus in the world today.
One of the mistakes the mega-churches have made is to make church more about me finding a church that fits my lifestyle and my families’ schedule. Church is no longer a life giving wellspring where I go to meet with Jesus and hear His Word. Church has become a commodity, a product and if I don’t like one product I’ll switch it out for another and if church no longer meets my needs, then I’ll quit church all together. This self-serving view of church is why most of our kids grow up in nursery, Sunday school, Jr. High group, Youth group, College group and never actually GO to church. When the finally GO to church they see church as boring and not relevant to their diet of entertainment the church has given them in order to make church more “interesting” to them. I find it interesting to note there were greater numbers of young people involved in local churches before youth ministries were invented. Now we are trying to figure out how to get them to come back. Why? Because instead of being the church, we taught people to go to church.
I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to choose a church because the Holy Spirit directs you to go to that church. Don’t go because the kids like it. Don’t go because you like the worship. Go because the Holy Spirit leads you and once you’re there ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to do through you. He will either use the church to change you or He will use you to change the church. Being on staff at several mega-churches and now pastoring a small but growing church plant, one of the blessings that I’ve seen is the high percentage of youth that I’ve pastored serving in ministry. In a small church, everyone gets to play and they get to play in significant roles. I don’t have systems to qualify the best preachers and the best servants. Sometimes I just need a person to step in because there isn’t anyone else to do it. It’s in that kind of an environment where people GROW. They become DOERS of the Word and not simply HEARERS.
Remember God loves you and He is working mightily through you. Roxie and I love you and we’re praying for you!