To Church or Not to Church

Is God pacing back and forth, due to the onset of Corona virus, wondering what to do about the church?  Saying, how will my people regroup for worship? Then, developing a three-point plan to motivate, inspire and eject people from the couch onto the church pew.

Doubtful … actually NO

Nothing happens apart from God’s foreknowledge and plan.  He uses all things to bring us creatively closer to Himself. IF … we don’t get lost in the circumstances. God’s way of maintaining good health and spiritual growth happens through community. He is an ever-present part of the Trinity and created man to commune with Himself and each other. In that way we grow spiritually, cooperatively and selflessly–dynamically serving in our area of giftedness, spurred on by the gifts of others.  

It’s True

Streaming sermons from the comfort of home does have many benefits.
* No travel
* No need to dress up
* A global choice of preachers
* The ability to switch from one to another
* Variety of worship styles and music
* Watching an entire series, instead of the weekly message
* Plus, you can eat breakfast at the same time

Who wouldn’t love choices that make church attendance so virtually easy?

God Wouldn’t

The Bible places church attendance as a priority and necessary part of spiritual growth. The Holy Spirit moves in a powerful way when the body of Christ comes together for worship. We need to hear and receive the Word by those called and studied to preach.

 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11–13

Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

In Hebrews we learn several aspects of church attendance. Even in the early church, some people fell into the bad habit of not assembling together. We need the encouragement of other believers in a church setting. Since Christ’s return draws nearer every day, we should devote ourselves to to gathering. The church is not perfect, but it’s Christ chosen method to bring the Gospel into the world. 

The Fact is

We grow best in community. We can exercise our gifts in conjunction with others. We are stronger in our daily lives as we move together in this world. God created us to be interdependent for good reasons: cooperative serving teaches us to be more caring and considerate of other people. It removes our focus from a self-involved daily existence to the larger scope of needs around us. 1 Corinthians 12:14-20

Alternately, being alone limits learning with no accountability or opportunity to expand our borders through friendships, support, challenges, and trials. Though social interaction sometimes causes hurt and conflict, trials cause necessary self-evaluation and adjustments as we grow closer to Christ’s example of humility.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Pride, on the Other Hand

* Has no tolerance for anyone else’s opinion.
* Keeps us easily and always offended.
* Is self-serving and looks for personal comfort over obedience to God.
* Is blind to personal faults, yet ultra-focused on the shortcoming of others.
* Pr-i-de places I at the center of all things and keeps God on the perimeter.
* Deceives the most important person it serves—SELF.
… Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

Christ is the Cornerstone of the Church – 1 Peter 2:6
We are the living stones within – 1 Peter 2:5

When we believe in God and place our trust in Him, we become members of the body of Christ. As such we are called to learn, serve, grow, and commune together. 1 Cor 12:14-20

 We learn the precepts of God by reading and studying the Word of God. As infants we feed first on milk and then on solid food. 1 Peter 2

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

During these uncertain times of Corona and masks, church attendance may be difficult. But plan to return. In the meantime, join a small group. If interested and local, I host one at my home and you are welcome to attend.

Comments

  1. Avatar Fran pasch says

    Love this. Lots to think about. Planning to attend church tomorrow. Miss seeing you.

    • Jewell Utt Jewell Utt says

      Aw Fran, I didn’t mean you should go back immediately, just eventually when you are healthy and comfortable..

  2. Not having to dress up has been great. But everything has to come to an end, sooner or later, someday, I will return. I miss the fellowship.

    • Jewell Utt Jewell Utt says

      I miss the fellowship also and plan to return in two weeks. Although the trip from the bedroom to the TV is convenient. Lol… In the meantime, I have started a small group in my home and that is good fellowship.

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