We are currently in the middle of a series at our church called DTR (Define The Reliationship).
Last week, in his less than endearing off-the-cuff manner, Taido told the story of how our relationship changed one night when we had a DTR. We wouldn’t have called it that back then because Define The Relationship has come into existence as a phrase in the years since our courtship.
He was introducing the sermons of the next few weeks that it seems will be a series of definings. Last week was a DTR with Jesus. This week: DTR with church.
I honestly don’t know what will be said about this on Sunday, but I am looking forward to it because I have thought a lot lately about this question Why Church?
I can admit that I’m sure it is largely due to the fact that I am both married to and the daughter of a pastor (not the same one) that I cringe a little when people rail against the church.
It is kind of trendy to say that one likes Jesus, but not the church. And I am in touch with the fact that many, many people have had bad experiences with church. Myself included.
But still, I have church deep within me. I love Jesus and I love the church.
However, when I try to put into words my answer to Why Go To Church, I usually fumble all over myself.
If you asked me today I might give some sort of rant about how many people have sacrificed their lives so that we can gather freely and study the Bible together. Another time I might talk about how there are people around the world starved for the kind of gathering of community that we can’t even be bothered to get out of bed for.
I would probably sound self-righteous and my ears would turn red, and I would definitely not be coherent.
So maybe the best answer for me is this little list I made last November after hearing someone strongly say they did not need church. I didn’t say anything. I just felt sort of sad and defeated. But I had been to church that day and I wrote in my journal this little list. I found it earlier this week and I thought it was as good an answer as I could give for the question Why Go To Church?
Things I did today at church that I would have missed if I had taken a pass this morning.
I sang and was moved to tears by the words of What A Friend We Have in Jesus
I prayed out loud for a sister in need.
I was prayed for.
Together with others, I lifted up a team of brothers and sisters who are heading to Kenya this week. (This will help me remember to pray for them while they are gone.)
I had three different conversations with people (and heard about what is really happening in their lives) that I would not otherwise have seen or talked to.
I signed up to feed the homeless.
I watched kids act out the story of Daniel.
I witnessed a quiet man love on a lonely gal who needed a little extra encouragement.
I was encouraged. I had the chance to encourage others.
I saw a sweet girl I know sing and play guitar for our middle school student worship.
This list is not at all a complete list of all that happens in and through a group of people who gather together in Jesus’ name. It is not meant to be.
For me it is a small reminder, especially on darker days-like ones I have since experienced- when I don’t feel like participating, that I don’t want to miss out on what God is doing through his church. I want to be a part of it.