I found a book called “Finding Church” by Wayne Jacobsen, and am on my second reading.
During my reading yesterday, I came across the concept of “having to go” to church. I lived in that morass of thinking for decades.
What is it that took the “wanna be with believers” from the children of God?
One simple truth – You “gotta go to church”.
Why do believers adopt a “gotta go” attitude?
- Possibly because the “wanna go” life dried up and died?
- Or because of “gotta go” requirements being imposed on believers?
Who knows – As a matter of fact, if any one has knowledge of how that “shift” in church life occurs, let me know – I would be very interested to reading up on it.
Wayne makes a point supporting this thinking when he states
“….making attendance an obligation may already demonstrate that we’ve lost the vitality of real community and have become mired in mundane rituals, demands for conformity, or internal conflicts that alienate people”
Ask yourself one question. Would you attend church if the obligation (whether social or religious) to attend was completely removed?
Do you anxiously wait to visit with a brother or sister, or attend “services” only to discuss sports, work or the weather?
Brother & sister, consider the reason for fellowship. Service to others through mutual encouragement is the goal, not simply the gathering of warm bodies to fill a building and to listen to a lone preacher man.
Fellowship is the sharing of life with each other, not the commonly accepted understanding of receiving bible facts (teaching) from a man many in the church rarely rub shoulders with in daily life.
Consider the last time your family came together due to obligation. A properly functioning family comes together because of love, of wanting to be with each other, of a longing to see each other and share life with each other. If your children come to visit you because of guilt, change your ways! (The word “dysfunctional” comes to mind if this is your situation.)
Why is it acceptable to motivate believers with obligation instead of love? It should not be so with the body of Christ.
1 John 1:3,6-7that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Note that those who are in fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (vs 3) have fellowship with one another (vs 7). Those that are not in fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ do not have fellowship with anyone.
An obligation to a building or a religious service, however good they may be, will not provide the fellowship described in the Word. Obligation strips the desire of fellowship down to a simple item to be checked off in our religious exercises.
If any who are reading this and have found what I am describing, please let me know. If any are hungry for a church life that “connects”, that is living and breathing, reach out.
Others may be able to help you. Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.