5 Things I love about the church

When last were you able to scroll through your Facebook feed without at least one shared article about what is wrong with the church today? No doubt it’s been a while! 5 reasons millennials are leaving your church. 5 reasons old people stopped tithing. 5 reasons your worship puts people off.  5 things to change about your stage. 5 reasons your sermons suck.

Someone once said “You would never tell a groom on his wedding day that his bride is fat and ugly – so why do we feel it’s okay to tell God [and all your social media followers] that His bride is defective”? So true! I so wish I could see more articles about why the church is beautiful, radiant and successful. So, I’ll get the ball rolling with 5 things I love about the church.

1. Community

I know. You can find a sense of community at the local Lions Club, at the beach when all your mates arrive for a surf at 6am, at the local moms and tots group and even in your PTA meeting. But there is nothing quite like the local church when it comes to bringing people from all walks of life together to enjoy life together.  The church is perfectly positioned to help all types of people find love and acceptance.  Where else can everyday people stand on a stage and play in a band even though they only know 5 chords? Where else can someone with half an hours training be given the responsibility of thousands of rands of sound equipment? Where else can people be greeted and made to feel welcome by the blind usher?  The church community is not perfect – but it is community, and it is beautiful

2. Care

I said something about this in my last post – but I honestly do not know where people who are not connected to a local church find support when the crap hits the fan.  How many people in todays society have 14 friends willing to cook a meal when they are in hospital for two weeks, or drop the kids at school when you’ve broken your foot?  How many people have a network of people just waiting to pray them through their child’s terrible two’s or first trip away from home? How many people have an extended family who can see them through difficult times when unemployment knocks at the door.  Better than any other organisation, as far as I know, the church gets this right! Yes, sometimes care slips through the cracks and people may feel disappointed that no one visited them after the procedure they told no one about (!) but generally the church care’s like no one else on earth, and it is beautiful!

3. Celebration

Every week the church provides an opportunity for people who have been saved by grace to celebrate their salvation, to celebrate their healing, to celebrate their provision. There are millions of parties happening all over the world every weekend as people get together to celebrate life. Those parties look different. Some of them are loud, and have lights and music and smiling people in matching shirts. Some of them are quiet, distinguished parties of reflection and sips of red wine. Some of them are messy and run way over time, and the guitarist reminds you a little of your drunk uncle at cousin Betty’s wedding. But in every one of them, space is created for people to celebrate life, and that is beautiful!

4. Change

Jesus Christ has changed my life – of that there is absolutely no doubt. The person I am today is very little like the person I was 20 years ago. And the church has facilitated a lot of that along the way. Sermons that have brought revelation. Leaders who have spoken into my life. Worship Teams who have ushered me into the presence of God. Broken people whose testimonies have helped me get up and fight another day. The church is a facilitator of life change, and it is beautiful!

5. Christ Jesus

He loves the church – it’s as simple as that. People may not understand it. People may find fault with it. People may write negative articles about it. But Christ loves His Church! Ephesians 5 encourages us: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”  That is how much Christ loves the church – He made it beautiful!

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