Why church?

Dayne Massey's picture

A couple of years ago our church began to work with a ministry that came in and helped us to strengthen our leadership and clearly define our mission and core values. This ministry was headed up by a passionate minister of the gospel named Larry Easton. Larry and I had many discussions about what church is really about. It’s a subject that I believe many people wonder about. Why go to church? What is it really all about? Is it simply tradition that has been passed down by our forefathers, or is it something that is designed by God? If it is designed by God, then it should take top priority in our much too busy lives.

Larry had a great philosophy about church. It really challenged me to the core! I want to share it with you. Perhaps the question is lurking in your mind... “Church: Why Bother?” Let these words challenge you:

“Man is a social creature ... that’s part of our design. Sure we may enjoy periods of solitude and retreat for reflection and rest, but we thrive in relationships.

“Authentic Christianity is about relationships. Vibrant relationships with God as a father and with Jesus our Lord. Relationships with our spouse and with our children. Relationships with people we call friends ... true friends ... people who accept us now, as we are and journey with us toward who we are becoming.

“That’s what church is really ... a group of people joining together with God and each other in a journey of discovery. In fact, growing together by developing meaningful and lasting relationships is a significant part of the journey!

“We often think of church as an organization or a building; however the very word church actually means “called out ones.” We are called together to know God, to discover His will, to explore His purpose in us and to live out the life He’s given us with joy, power, generosity and influence.

“Real friends are there for the good times and during the challenging times as well. Together we experience God’s compassion and power ... every day, not just on Sundays. We encourage each other in difficult times and together we celebrate our victories. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are received into God’s family. Here we find acceptance and encouragement and the power to experience the joy of a life more fully lived.

“While difficulties may not disappear, we now have at our disposal a powerful set of tools which, while not disallowing challenge, make defeat impossible. His Word, His Holy Spirit and the companionship of real friends are at the heart of this thing we call church. No, church is not a building. It’s not even an organization. It’s an environment in which the human condition finds new context and meaning, our highest aspirations find fulfillment, dreams become reality, and most of all ... where our hearts find a home.

“It’s remarkable how often we simply forget that life was made for living ... not enduring! A life more fully lived though begins by entering into God’s embrace. Perhaps you’ve fallen prey to the notion that God is disinterested in you, or unaware of those things which matter to you. Or worse that God is out to settle a score with you ... nothing could be further from the truth!

“Jesus said in John 10:10, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ Though challenge will come, God’s power at work in us turns stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Every challenge simply becomes an opportunity for an adventure in God as He reveals his love, kindness and power. Fear, frustration and discouragement give way to faith, peace, empowerment and blessing as God promotes us in His grand purpose for our lives.”

I encourage you to pray and allow God to lead you to a local church where you can explore God’s word and discover strategies for living an empowered, purposeful and passionate life of joy. Once you find it, get rid of all the predetermined expectations that you might have, and remember that it is a journey. There will be people in that church that you like, and dislike. The church will make decisions that you agree with, and disagree with. At first, you might think it is the perfect church, but remember one thing — if it is perfect, the moment you stepped in it became imperfect! Be faithful there and serve the Lord with gladness. Church is not just another activity in our busy lives. Church: It’s a Must!

Dayne Massey is pastor of Gracepointe Church, 665 Ga. Hwy. 74 South in Peachtree City. Gracepointe is a non-denominational church with a vision to equip people to fulfill the destiny God has for them. The church’s website is www.gracepointechurch.com. For more information, call 770-631-9880 or email pastor@gracepointechurch.com.

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