"Go To Church"

God's people need to firmly establish in their though process and in their involvement in caring out His mission in the community of humanity on the earth that Church is not a place to go, rather it is who we are, the way we live as the Body of Christ as a community of the redeemed as we live in the community of humanity in life living.

The phrase "go to church" is a misnomer and should be dropped from the vocabulary of the redeemed because it leaves an incorrect connotation to both believers and nonbelievers alike.

Implying that phrase as the reason why we get up on a Sunday morning to attend a Sunday-go-meeting gathering of God's people leaves the impression that it is the primary driving force behind Church and its actions when in actuality it is not, or at least it shouldn't be. 

Some of the reasons for "going to church" are thought to be good by church goers when in actuality they are not because most of the reasons for "going to church" do not permit people to see our gathering as a natural part of living our life with God and our involvement in His mission. To confine our assembled gatherings to a timed programmed, agenda-event-driven-meeting is stepping outside the meaning and purpose of Church and the practice of the early Church.

Many people "go to church" out of a sense of duty and obligation as a believer and believes it shows and promotes good spiritual discipline. 

Now spiritual disciplines are good if they allow God to shape our lives for involvement in His life and mission. The "going to church" discipline mentality in the modern "church" system has reduced spiritual disciplines to mere duties, devoid of the reality of life in Christ they were meant to connect us to. The Sunday "going to church" mentality has squashed the reality that Church should be a normal spiritual discipline that shapes us to participate in the living reality of living life by active involvement in His mission daily.    

Then there is the idea that "going to church" is what it means to be a Believer, for "church" is  where God dwells, the place where we encounter Him and the place where His work is in action. Church is living life and life living is not what takes place behind the four walls of a building for two hours in a event-driven-meetings. If our assembling together at gatherings, whenever that may be, we fail to have an encounter with the living reality of the Spirit as God's corporate Body, respond to that Spirit encounter and be molded by His mission and vision that ought to be our drive for being the Church in living life, then our gathering together is nothing more than a social club experience.

Our gathering together at Sunday-event-driven meetings is more often than not, a place  where the pew-warmers sit, stand, raise their hands at the suggestion of the director on the stage and by the chosen few who have qualified themselves to be performers in the production of the programs, or the laity performers that are invited by professional performers to strut their stuff. It is not doubt that this activity may produce a "feeling good" feeling that provokes a personal response that is referred to as worship. We need to monitor our reaction to such phenomena because it can be addictive and that addiction to a "feeling good" feeling, a good experience or an inspirational sermon can cause our relationship with God to look like an addiction that has become egocentric. That moves our spiritual dependance from God, to spiritual experiences that leads to despondency when that "feeling good" feeling is not realized.

If we "go to church" to nourish our spiritual life because we are dependent on the professional's sermon, we are off base. Real spiritual nourishment happens in our living out the life of Christ among the people we live with on a daily basis. One problem with dependence on the professional is that disappointment often is the reality or even worse, they start thinking and believing they are the expert in scripture and its expounding thereof. The mindset of receiving all our spiritual enlightenment from  the professional under minds the work of God through His Church, the community of believers.  The church structure of today perpetrates this philosophy. 

Please don't misunderstand me...the gathering together of believers as the Church is important for uplifting and encouraging each other where members move with the Spirit in the gift that God has given them. But true Church should take place in our daily living among our neighbors and the people we live and interact with daily. Sometimes we neglect our mission field in support of "go to" the mission field.  

It is our gathering together unto Him, where we come together as a broken, dependent on Him people to share with the brethren what He is doing in our lives as He shapes us to participate in His overall plan for humanity. In our togetherness we are to experience His presence, validate the reality of Scripture, receive the affirmation of truth, while feasting on His forgiveness, maturing in our new life that is His gift to us, and participating in praise and thanksgiving which further empowers us to partner in His Mission of love and grace.


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