Now before y’all have a hissy fit, I am not renouncing my faith or the need for fellowship in church…
One thing that has become apparent to me in myself and in others is our selfishness when it comes to church. We often go to church for ourselves to see what they have for us. “What does the church have to offer me today?” “What does the youth group have for me?” To me, this mindset seems a little selfish. It doesn’t look to the good of the church or the other individuals in the church; it looks for the good of its own. It is shown by statements like:
“I didn’t like church today. All we talked about was _____, that doesn’t apply to me.”
“I don’t like the worship here; it is to old or loud.”
These statements might be true, but I say, “Tough!” Don’t get me wrong, I have made statements like these hundreds of times and have felt completely justified in making them. But in truth, I wasn’t, and I don’t feel anyone truly is. That is assuming that the church you go to is Bible believing and not teaching heresy. So when I hear, “I didn’t like church because…,” my first thought is–and I’m not trying to sound rude–BUT WHO CARES! If it applied to 300 people and not you, does that mean it was a bad service? And if it applied to one person and brought him or her back to the Lord while 300 just heard something they already knew, does that make it bad? No! If it touched 300 people we should rejoice; if it convicted one person and brought that person back to the Lord, we should rejoice!
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” – Jesus
We are here for the Lord.
We are not here for ourselves and the petty games we like to play. We should be rejoicing with the other people whom the Holy Spirit did touch through the worship and the sermon. Whether a sermon touches you or not does not make God any less amazing; it does not mean we should not be awed by the touch of the Master’s hand on someone else’s life. We need to get over ourselves and realize we are here for the Lord.
I believe whole-heartedly that the body of believers is here to build each other up, encourage, teach, exhort, and sharpen each other. In that, I believe that a good, healthy church will meet many of your needs and a wise pastor will preach many sermons that cut you to the core.
But at the root of this whole thing is Christ: Christ unites us; it is under His banner we stand; He is the reason we rejoice; and He is the reason we congregate–NOT for ourselves.
Church is NOT for me; church is for the Lord. Take your eyes off yourselves and focus on things above: serve, love, show empathy and compassion.
“Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ’thrown in.’ Aim at earth and you will get neither.” – C.S. Lewis