A Pastoral Word
In my line of work, it is easy to get caught up in "church life" and forget that there is a world outside of the church, the unfortunate hazards of the job. But as I continue to grow in my faith, I have come to discover that the local church family is more than just a job. It is exactly what helps give me life, which is a rare thing nowadays for many people to experience and understand, because so many in our community have given up on the church. The church is seen as judgmental. The church is seen as exclusive. The church is seen as not practicing what it preaches: LOVE! So when I came across this blog, it reminded me of the conversations that we have been having as part of our Surfing the Edge process. I would love to hear your thoughts on how this calls us as people of faith to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is in our midst.
Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Going to Church:
9. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life. It just is. A church community cannot be everything to everyone in times of crisis, but when the bottom falls out of your world, it's great to have a community to lift you back up.
8. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life, part two. The time to build a relationship with God is not when life turns ugly, and you've run out of all other options. Attending worship regularly helps build a relationship with God and others that will give you a solid foundation when the winds blow and the storms come.
7. Not all churches are anti-something. Most of us are for people, for acceptance, for hospitality. Really, we're out there. We just don't get the good press.
6. Any church worth its salt has really good food on a regular basis.
5. Churches offer paint-by-number opportunities to serve. Many people would like to help the poor, the hungry and the homeless, but they don't know how to get involved, how to make the time to be involved, or what they can do to really make a difference. Churches offer you ways to plug in to help those who need it most.
4. You've got a gift. Probably two or 10 of them. Becoming involved in the ministry of a church will help you discover and use gifts you never even knew you had.
3. Not all churches are after your money. Good churches want you have a healthy relationship with money. Sure, churches need to pay the electric bill and the pastor and the youth director, but money and the church is more about you than it is about the church. It's about your own relationship with money. World events have proven that it's much better to put faith in God than in a bank account. Church can help you with that.
2. Taking a break from our hectic lives to come to church is accepting the gift of Sabbath. Wayne Mueller says "(Sabbath) dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished." We don't take Sabbath and come to worship because we have time and have finished up everything that needs to be done. We take Sabbath because it is time to stop, and we are designed to stop, rest and reflect. Those who don't are destined to crash and burn.
1. Jesus is really cool. Even if you don't know if you can believe in the whole Son-of-God thing, even if you refer to the resurrection as the Zombie Jesus event, and even though those of us already in church often do a lousy job of following him, come to church to get to know Jesus. The more you get to know him, the more you'll understand why people call his way The Way.