How do you think of church? Be honest, no one else can hear what you are thinking? Before you read any further stop and answer that question!
What was your answer; was it somewhere I go to get taught? Somewhere I meet my friends? Somewhere I go to sing? A building I visit? A place I have to go?
How we view church will determine how we approach it, what we expect from it, how we involve ourselves in it and what we get out of it! So answer that question, how you experience church for the rest of your life depends on it.
Sometimes you meet people who 'used' to go to church, and you find yourself wondering why did they 'used' to go and yet now go no longer? Rarely is it a lightening strike instant decision to stop going, it is more often a gradual altering of priorities as a response to changing pressures or desires. But I can't help wondering if behind those lurks the answer to that question.
For example if I view church as a consumer partaking of a product or a performance then when I am not hearing what I want to here, seeing what I want to see then I will find myself losing interest in it and gradually drifting away from it.
If I view church as something there to meet my needs then when I feel it is no longer meeting those needs it will be a logical decision to allow it to drift in my priorities.
But the bible never talks about church as performance or consumable or something their to meet our needs. It talks about church as a vibrant, organic, evolving, changing, transforming, interconnected, relational entity. It is not something you can observe it is something you have to involve yourself in. It is something God calls us to as disciples who disciple others and are discipled by others, it is the sphere in which we work out our faith, confront our sin, love one another against the odds, and spur one another on to be like Christ, it is where we take responsibility for one another, commit deeply to one another and are blessed by God with one another.
How do you think of church? How does that affect the way you approach your gospel family?