Maybe you did it Sunday. Woke up, got the kids looking decent, scrambled out the door a little late, snuck into the church service a few songs into it, but at least you didn’t miss the main part (the sermon). Maybe you stay for the last song, maybe you sneak out early to beat the traffic (or just to avoid another awkward conversation with “Sister Betty”). In and out. Smooth. Clean. Hazardous to your health.
I would make the argument that attending church can be hazardous to your spiritual health. You attend shows. You attend ball games. You’re not supposed to attend church. When you attend something, you sit and watch as a spectator. If you like it, you offer some applause, perhaps you pay to get in or make a donation, but that’s as far as your involvement and commitment go.
The picture we see of the early church is just the opposite. They didn’t just attend church services, they did life together. They broke bread in each others homes. They got involved in each other’s lives. They gave to those in need. They sacrificed for each other. They practiced biblical community. They were the church for each other.
There is a difference:
- Attending church is about you. Being the church is about us.
- Attending church is about getting. Being the church is about giving back.
- Attending church is about meeting your needs. Being the church is about also meeting the needs of others.
- Attending church is about being entertained. Being the church realizes that you’re not the audience, God is.
- Attending church stays skin deep. Being the church goes deep into the lives of those around you.
- Attending church will eventually dry up your soul. Being the church will enrich your soul and those around you.
- Attending church is easy. Being the church takes work.
- Attending church is optional. Being the church is not.
Don’t settle for attending church this Sunday. Be the church.