That Funny thing called “Local Church.”
You know me – “Mr. I don’t call Myself a Christian” guy. Several times a month someone will ask me this question; “So Carl, do you guy to a church in Denver?” Interesting they don’t ask me what they probably ask most other regular Christians. Which is “WHERE do you go to church?” Just assuming they would go to a church…. Well not with me. They want to know IF I go somewhere. (And they probably don’t ask Chris this question either – just me). Hmmm?
So…you ask. What’s the answer?
We go. Faithfully (when I’m in town – Chris more often). A great church just down the road called Mountain View Community Church. Good people there. Good and godly people leading as well.
Here’s the deal when it comes to “going to church.” I think most of what we think about church is confused, and sometimes downright wrong. The very question “Where do you go to church” shows how confused we are. How many times have we heard someone say “The church is not a place, but a people” and we still don’t get that right. We all know it. Believe it. But we forget. (Sort of like “following Jesus” – we forget).
Of the 1000 or so people that show up at “our church” every Saturday night and Sunday morning (four identical weekend services), the vast majority are the best folks in the world. Some know Jesus. Some don’t. Some aren’t sure. But they’re mostly really good people. 80% just show up and get served. 20% do something. Pretty normal stats, I’d say.
So why do we go? Why does Chris help lead with the women? Why do I speak there when I can and meet with folks “from church?” Why do we care to be involved when, in so many ways, our church perpetuates the notion that you “go to a church on Sundays” and that it’s a spectators sport. Here’s why:
They’re people. God likes people. Who cares if they’re this way or that. Or if the worship is a 9 or a 1 on the scale of 1-10. Or if the preaching is wonderful or mediocre. They’re people. And God commands us to love people. Where else can we find 1000 of them to love so easily?
We do learn. I’d say every time we walk away with a new thought or a new way to live. That’s a good thing!
We might be able to slap someone on the back and say “How’s life?” And actually care. Maybe even pray with them. That’s pretty cool, eh?
There are other reasons, of course. But those three are good enough for us to “go.” We should be the church. We should understand what that means. Think deeply about biblical community. And in the meantime – in case you can’t find those folks – you “go to church.” Settle in. Make the most of it. Don’t be grumpy. Don’t judge. Enjoy. Contribute. If you don’t like it – do something about it. Don’t boycott. Don’t walk away. Be part of the solution!