How many times have you said “I’m going to church on Sunday?” Maybe this past week someone asked you “what are you doing on the weekend” and you answered by saying “I’m going to church”. It’s a common phrase, isn’t it? But as you read this blog I want to encourage you to stop saying it. Yes, that’s right, we need to stop going to church.
There are many places we go – to the movies, to the theatre, to the park or the beach. We go to see the Knights play. We go to Sydney or we go to the Hunter Valley. We go to these places as a destination and we are there as spectators, watching what is going on around us.
But we don’t go to church, because unlike those other things, church is not a destination. We may go to a building, but we don’t go to church. Church is not about us being spectators on the sidelines, rather it is about us actively participating in what the Lord has for each one of us. 1 Corinthians 12:27 puts it this way “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”
“We don’t go to church because we are the Church! Those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ are His bride, we are His Church and so we don’t need to go to church, because wherever we are, there the Church is also.”
God’s highest calling for you as a follower of Christ was never to go to a church, not to go to a building. God’s highest calling isn’t to go to a destination, but to be conformed to the image of Christ, as we see in Romans 8:29 “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Now am I saying that our Heavenly Father’s plan is for His children to live in isolation from each other? No, of course not, the bible makes that very clear. There is most definitely a place for corporate gatherings, be that in church buildings or homes or other places we assemble. In fact, the word translated as church in our bibles, ekklesia, actually means assembly or gathering, so yes we are called to gather together and edify each other.
“In some ways it is only a small thing, but in a lot of ways how we talk about the Church reflects on how we see our identity in Christ.”
But we are not called to go to church. Rather, we need to be planted in the Church, we need to be the Church to those around us. We live in a time when darkness is increasing and so we need to be the Church, shining light wherever we go. Jesus didn’t die a gruesome death on the cross at Calvary so that we could simply go to church.
In some ways it is only a small thing, but in a lot of ways how we talk about the Church reflects on how we see our identity in Christ. In our family we no longer ask ourselves if we are going to church? We have changed our language because church is not a destination to which we attend. It is an identity inside of us, it is who we are. We are the church, so there’s no need to go to church because the church is who we are.
Written by Wayne Hindson – Announcer on The Big Breakfast