As we plan fall schedules, maybe you wonder if church is still relevant to your life.
Should it be on my very busy schedule? Do I still fit in? Why do I feel so disengaged?
We need to honestly wrestle with these questions, but unfortunately, the answers for many (and maybe you too), is that church no longer feels necessary.
And I get it. Even as someone married to a Minister, I too have struggled with these same questions. I may have struggled even more so as church for me can sometimes feel too intrusive and dominating in my life whether I want it to or not.
When I go to Scripture, God describes the Church as "the Bride of Christ,” (Ephesians 5:21-33) and the “Dwelling Place of God” (Ephesians 2:22). But by far, God’s Word defines it most often as “the Body of Christ” (I Corinthians 12). Jesus is called the “Head” (Colossians 1:18). His followers are identified as “His Body”- the people who choose to put their faith in and surrender their lives to Jesus.
By labeling the Church His Body, Paul communicates two profound truths: the purpose of the Church and its value.
As His Body, the Church is to do the work of Jesus in the world. The purpose for us as members of His Body is that we are called, gifted, and commissioned to live out our lives under His leadership together.
Going to or belonging to a church is more than just our attendance, our tithe, or our preferences. It’s more than just checking it off the list.
We are together called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken world. How many times have you wished to “feel” the arms of God around you? How many times would you have liked to “see” God work in your life or experience God’s love for you? It could have happened when a church-goer prayed with you, provided for one of your needs, or gave you a smile and an encouraging word.
As the “Body of Christ”, the Church is given worth and value as belonging to Christ. We, as members of the Church, are treasured and loved as the Body of Christ. This means that one very tangible way we can love Jesus is to love His Church.
Yes, the Church as the “Bride of Christ” and “His Body” are lofty descriptions. But we live in a fallen world and are broken people. As amazing as the illustrations mentioned above are, we fall short- You. Me. The Church. Just as much as we have experienced the love of Christ in a church setting, there are plenty of people who have also been hurt. Or bored. And believe me, as a Pastor’s wife I have been hurt. Quite a bit actually, but that could be for another blog post.
(And shhhhhhh…I have also been bored…)
Should we give up and walk away? NO! Praise God for Jesus, the Head of the Church who redeems and is redeeming His people! As we commit to submit to His leadership together, we can experience hope, healing, and help- yes, in church! In our church!
Loving difficult people is not always easy. But it’s possible with Jesus in our hearts. It’s possible when we remember that we too are difficult people in Jesus’ eyes, but He loves us still! (Check out Romans 5:10!)
This fall as we kick off a new church season, prayerfully consider how you can connect or re-connect. The Church is more than a group to belong to, but truly it’s meant to be a life lived together with Jesus. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, it is part of who we are and who we are called to be.
This September, our Women’s blog writers are reflecting on Christ’s Body, The Church. To learn more about opportunities to connect at Alliance Church Appleton, Hortonville, or online, visit our Women’s Ministry page. It is our prayer that you find meaningful connection in His Church this fall as we pursue our vision to connect the world to God and one another.