I’ve been hearing it more and more. People, saying they are leaving the church.
“The church isn’t a building. The church is the people,” I hear. And yes, that is true. And I understand that many people have been hurt by church denominations and those who occupy its’ walls.
But there is a danger in this new philosophy crossing so many hearts and minds. There is a danger in this mentality that we can simply “worship” online or on our own. That danger is in lack of Christian community.
While it’s true that we can listen to sermons on our ipods, television screens, or study the pages of the Bible for ourselves – we cannot and will never be able to, replicate a body of people who can encourage, minister, and support us. That is, unless we attend Church.
It is dangerous to go life solo or alone. It’s too easy to lock yourself away when you’re hurting or going through a huge challenge in life. The easier it gets to separate yourself from others, the longer it lasts.
I, like most others, don’t want church to become a ritual in my life that I do simply by habit. I want it to be meaningful and long lasting in my heart. But I also don’t want to wipe away its influence on my life altogether, leaving myself vulnerable to Satan’s attacks on my life. Without the love and encouragement of my Christian brothers and sisters, I don’t know how I would find the strength, hope, and peace that I need, to go through certain things in life.
I need others. And they need me.
So if you’re reevaluating your place and presence in church – I say, do so. Evaluate how much time you spend volunteering or giving yourself over to church activities and functions. Evaluate the morals and values of the place you are attending. But don’t write church off altogether.
It’s important. It’s needed in our lives. And it’s life giving.
We need an army in this battle of life. If we abandon the church, we are abandoning the army that God has placed here to help support us and back us up.
God’s people may be far from perfect. They may hurt and wound us at times. But they are all we have. Hold on to them.