Have you ever had those moments where you really examine what you believe and wonder, do I really believe this? It is easy to get trapped in the routine of going to church and not ever really thinking about the significance of it. It's more than just going to a building a couple of times a week, singing a few songs, and putting some money in a plate. In fact after doing some research, I think it is an inaccurate phrase to say "We go to church". What's more truthful would be to say "We are the church".
Sure, it's getting popular to say "The church isn't the building, it's the people" so much so it has almost become cliche'. But how many people actually believe that? I went to a church leadership conference at Savannah Christian Church several years ago. I saw a sign above the exit that said "The church has left the building". I liked that when I saw it, but didn't take it to heart. I have immersed myself in the world of going to a show every Sunday and singing some songs and listening to a sermon for 40 minutes and calling that church.
I guess what I'm saying is I want something more than that. I want true growth that comes only from the Holy Spirit. I want authentic relationships that comes from being in one another's lives daily. I want to "worship in spirit and in truth" as it says in John 4:23-24. I don't want to be caught up in big crowds and fog machines. I want honest people and pure love. I am trading in rules and regulations for freedom and grace.
I'm not saying anything negative about church in general, it is good for us to worship the Lord with other believers. God made us to be social creatures, to be in relationship with Him and others. But true relationship cannot usually come from a Sunday morning experience. It comes from being involved in each others lives, and knowing others needs and their weaknesses. And here's where the hard part is, Bum bum bum...(dramatic movie music here): sharing your own weaknesses. . When you involve yourself with others, you will know their troubles and they will know yours and that level of vulnerability can be hard. I know it is for me.
I spent years learning how to build up walls around my heart, to keep people at an arm's length in order to preserve myself. But I am learning life is not about self preservation it's about dying to self. It's not about being independent, it's about being dependent on God. He has called us to actively seek Him and be a light in the darkest place. That darkest place is the world in which we live. And our light should be a reflection of His.