A close friend of mine once told me “Sunday Morning Service is like a Pep-Rally for the Big Game of Life that takes place Monday thru Saturday”. I couldn’t agree with this more…
For “church” is not something that happens on “Sunday Morning”. Neither is “church” a building, a ceremony, nor an event. The “church” is the “people”. And without the people (followers of Jesus Christ), there is no church.
That said, if all you do is “go to church” on Sunday mornings, I ask that you stop. That’s right, I just asked you to “stop going to church.” The fact of the matter is, if all God gets of your life is one hour on Sunday mornings, quite candidly, you wasting your time and His. God calls us all to give over our entire lives to Him, to sacrifice for Him by caring for others, and to follow Him! Nowhere in the Gospel does Jesus ever say “the way to heaven is buy going to a religious service for one hour on Sundays and then living for yourself the other 167 hours in the week”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that statement is not in the Bible.
The question then is, why do so many people live like that? “One hour for God on Sundays, the rest of the time for me.” ……????
Again, if you are one of these people, I encourage you to “Stop going to church.” Not only because I believe your wasting your own time, but quite candidly because I think you’re giving the rest of us a bad name in the process! The more I speak with people about God / Jesus / Christianity, the more I hear the complaint that “Christians are a bunch of hypocrites! They go to church on Sunday and then they act just like everyone else the rest of the week!” Yet, when I ask these same people what it is about Jesus and His teachings that the disagree with, they usually respond with “Jesus? Jesus is great. I have no problem with Jesus… It’s Christians I can’t stand!”
Seriously, I don’t want anybody to “just” stop going to church… I want people to stop going to church and “START BEING THE CHURCH!” As I said before, the “church” isn’t a place, the “church” is the people! Which means that “church” isn’t limited to the walls of a building… On the contrary, “church” is a never ending event! Whether your feeding the homeless, enjoying time with your family, working at the office, or having a beer with the fellas, you and your fellow Christ-Followers are the “church”!
As such, it’s time that we started acting like the “church”… And I’m not talking about “holding bake sales” and “judging others”. I’m talking about following the Greatest Commandment (as stated by Jesus): “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [and] Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:34-40) And not just on Sunday mornings, but for 168 hours / week, at home, at the office, in the car, on the street, at the store, with our friends, and with our enemies.
What is the definition of “love”, you ask? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13)
Who is my “neighbor” you ask? Jesus explains it clear as day in the parable of The Good Samaritan.
The moral of this story: Stop Going To Church. Start BEING The Church!