Why even go to Church? Churches are filled with imperfect, unaccepting, judgmental people who don’t even see the world the way that you do, right? While that could be true of a lot of our experiences with Church, I don’t think that is what keeps most of us from going to church. The diversity of ideas and styles that exist should make it possible for any of us to find a church that meets almost all, if not everyone of our boxes on the check list. But still so many of us don’t go to Church anymore. The reason for this is that at its core the Church Is Not About Us.
In a world of extreme connectivity we are more lonely and fragmented as a society than ever before. Because we have lost something, we have lost our corporate identity, the glue that has bonded us together for over 2000 years no longer seems to stick. It can be easy to blame the church for so many of the problems in the world and in our lives, but those are just another excuse to not connect to something bigger than just our own small bubbles of safety. We like to have everything be about us or meeting our needs but that can be a hollow existence. At its core Church is learning about how it is by serving that we are served. Church is about learning that I don’t need everything to be about myself.
Beyond the politics played out on the 24 hour news cycle and in the TV Pastors the church is the place where diversity of kinds should be embraced, because each week celebrate the love story between God and all of creation. Division over and burdens gender, sexuality, and social location should roll off our shoulders as we walk through the doors of the church and greet each other in the name of peace. As imperfect people we gather around the table of God’s grace and confess that we do not hold the truth as our hostage but that we commit to finding it with each other.
The Church should be a home to a people who have lost their roots of their youth and seek to find a place to where they can truly be themselves. To rediscover the language of family and the bonds of community. There are many places to feel connected today but not many with the same bond or caring that church can be.
Gatherings are not just tired ritual, but they are the sacred space carved out so that we can learn to be our best selves. The church should be a crucible where we test ourselves expanding our minds, our hearts, and our souls to heights we never thought we could reach. A place where we stop and take the time to discover the divine in communion with each other.
By going to church we are experiencing the resurrection power of Jesus, not only in our lives or in a life after death, but the resurrection of all those around us – a power that we take back out into the world with us. This power has the potential to break down the barriers that we have carefully constructed. There is power in going to church not just to change yourself but to change the world.
So this Easter we at Missiongathering want to ask you “Why Not Go to Church?” You have so much to lose and almost everything to gain by seeing the power of lives transformed, seeing love in action, and diversity embraced as the canvas of God’s love. There’s more to this life than just our own desires and needs. As Jesus said “Come and see” and maybe you just might find something that has been missing has been found.