Today is February 11th, 2015.
I just ripped off two snapchats after reading a Christian blog post about why women shouldn’t watch 50 Shades of Grey. I’m typing this out on a MacBook Pro with my iPhone 5s right beside me. The world is at my fingertips. I have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, RapChat, Trivia Crack, Snapchat, and GroupMe so that I can connect with all of my friends at any time I want. Life is good, right?
The accessibility to faith-based podcasts, blogs, books, and sermons is higher than ever. I have worship bands like Hillsong United on my iPod, I have the Bible App on my phone, and I go to a Christian college where I take Bible classes. There is no way that I can escape being a follower of Christ, right?
And with all this stuff that supposedly points us towards Jesus, who needs to be a part of a church? According to most numbers (including Wikipedia), there are roughly 700 churches in Nashville where I reside. Of these churches, many have phenomenal preaching, fantastic worship services, and some take place in really cool venues. Many people in Nashville go to church, the majority claim to be Christians or feel some sort of tie to the Christian faith. But how many are a part of a church?
I see a vast difference between going to church and being part of the Church. In fact, many would argue that due to our great exposure to Christianity, we don’t have to even go to church to be a Christian. God’s not counting our attendance and holding it for judgment day. As long as we believe in God, pray when we need Him, and occasionally go to a worship service, we’re doing what is asked of us, right? I don’t think so. I have to argue that going to church or participating in the American Christian subculture makes us no more of a follower of Christ than going to McDonalds makes us a cheeseburger.
To me being a part of the Church includes many things, but a main aspect is the body of believers. A group of people who take care of each other, keep each other in line, and pick each other up when their down. Without my group of friends and family, life would be pretty rough. These people are my church. These imperfect people who deal with struggles, the same and different from myself, are invaluable in my life and in my walk with the Lord. The Church is still relevant to the world today because it is made up of people who live in this world.
The early church dealt with the struggles of living in the world just like churches today struggle. Due to the time period, they were very different, but still insanely similar. When they couldn’t see God, they turned to pagan idol worship for comfort, pleasure, and security. When we today can’t see God, we turn to money, lust, and greed for comfort, pleasure, and security. The Church still matters in the world because it is in conflict with the ways of the world. Wars break out, diseases spread, and shamefulness abounds while the Church finds itself in the middle of it all, often falling onto the wrong side of the fence.
The Church matters to you, me, and us because we need the Church. We need those people to come alongside us and push us in the right direction, and those people need us in the same way. The race of the Kingdom of God is not meant to be run swiftly or independently. God has called us together for something greater that we could never imagine, and that is why the Church matters.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”