Autumn Leaves 3 Column

Friday, August 21, 2009

Doing "Church"

Lately I’ve been reading a whole lot of books about "church": healthy churches, how to “do” church, how to lead and encourage leadership, and the like. I’m finding it very frustrating that we struggle so much about how to “do” church. I thought church was about getting together on Sunday morning to celebrate what God did, has done, and is continuing to do.
He came to earth in the form of a man, lived with us, and then died a horrific death on a cross only to be raised to new life three days later. All of our sin was hung on Him, the one perfect God-man so that we could have a relationship with our Creator God. Then, when we respond to a love that we cannot understand, and we acknowledge what Jesus did for us, we receive His love and forgiveness. We are saved and rescued from hell. That’s when God gives us a piece of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to remind us of all of the things Jesus told the disciples when He was here, to help us relate to God in a new way, with no one between us and God.
This incredible gift is still going on today, this love that calls people out of darkness into His marvelous light. And we are supposed to gather together once a week to celebrate and lift up the name of Jesus. Why does this have to be so difficult?!! It’s because we are broken! As long as faulty, sinful humans are involved, worshipping God will be faulty as well! We disagree over worship style, music style, what the Pastor’s job is, how many hours he should spend in the office, what kinds of programs we should be doing, how long the sermon should be and on and on ad nauseum! But I would hope at some point we would be able to apply the things that we learn from the scripture about how to “love our neighbor”, how to extend grace and show the world just what Jesus meant when He said “Love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples when you love one another” (John 13:34-35)
Maybe we need to ask God what our worship of Him should look. Are we really there to celebrate the risen Lord? Or have we become so entrenched in what “church” should look like that we have forgotten the whole intention of it?


  1. I can feel the fire! It is so true. If we really put ourselves into a mindset of, "What would Jesus do?," most of our disagreements would melt away. We are so broken, and our human egos just have to have their way it matter what the forum.

    I think God will be delighted no matter what programs we do, or how long the service is...I think we need to all remind ourselfs of the "why" we are here gathered together and not the "how" of it. We need to take what is relevant to us and gently set the rest is all good...just good in different degrees for different people. Afterall, that is what makes for a truely colorful and long-reaching ministry. If we all wanted exactly the same things...we'd all be dancing by ourselves to the same song in the same unfulfilling would that be.
    Yeah, Gayle.

  2. Hey Auntie Gayle,
    Amen!! You said it. Nice post. I didn't know you people were out here doing this. I am going to have to do one now. As soon as I figure out how! I have been wanting to start a blog, on things other than Real Estate, so maybe I can do one using this platform.
    Anyway, you guys are pretty cool with your blogs out here for all to see. As a newbie to the scene, so to speak, I have talked to Carol and Pastor Roger about some of these same things. Of course, being raised Catholic and now going to a Baptist Church, I had a lot of questions in the beginning. Talk about a change! I guess my biggest wonder, was/is what I call church "hoppers", that go from church to church, looking for what? Who knows?
    Well, I will check in more often and in the meantime, you go girl!


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