Do I have to go to church?

Okay... question time.

What is more important?

  • To GO to church?...............or
  • To BE the church?

You will answer that question depending on your tradition, culture, and background.  I am a third generation church person.  I grew up eating, breathing, and living church.  If there were ANY church activity of ANY description--my family canceled breathing if necessary and go to the church building.
         Church equaled Jesus to me--in my informative years.  As long as church was primary and focused--my 'religious' life would be in tact.  To be fair to me--if you would have asked this question to me anytime during the first 18 years of my life I would have responded: "Huh?  What are you talking about?"

How about you?

As we enter 2015 I suspect that church attendance statistics (average family attends one service twice a month) would tell us that most church people would answer this way:  "Well, it's more important to BE the church."

Here are some observations:

  1. If it is most important to 'go to church' you can make the same mistake I did for many years--that is--church equals Jesus.  You can run the danger of being one of the religious leaders in Jesus' day who missed God--in the midst of a highly structured, regimented, religious life.
  2. If it is most important to 'be the church' then you have understood or at least have a better grasp of what ecclesiology is all about.  Ecclesiology is the study of ecclesia--the church--the called out ones.  If you think it is more important to BE the church instead of GOING to church.. you are probably closer of Jesus' message.
  3. If you emphasize, in your family and in your spiritual walk BEING the church--it will have an interest effect on you.  You will WANT to GO to church.  You will understand that ecclesiology is communal it is NOT individualistic.  It is not about consumerism.  It is not about being served.  It is about being together in community.
  4. If you prioritize BEING the church you will GO to church.
  5. If you prioritize GOING to church, you might not even consider what BEING the church is even about!  

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