Being the Church vs. Going to Church

Since our kids were little, we have always made a point to avoid saying things like, “We went to church.” The kids would jokingly mimic Brian by saying, “How can you go to church when you ARE the church?” We thought we were fairly on top of helping our children realize that the church is a family of believers rather than the building that they meet in, BUT, as I listened to Morgan Sunday morning and saw the different shirts that he went through, I was struck by the shortfalls of our family’s discussion of the church.
So what shirt do I wear? What ideas or habits keep me from really serving as the body of Christ? Here are some that I struggle with:

1. I have a shirt that clearly says “I am too busy doing important ‘church work’ to spend time talking to you about Jesus and how He can take care of you and any struggle you’re dealing with.” Wow! When you say it out loud it sounds horrible, but somehow it isn’t so horrible when I’m just wearing the shirt. That one needs to go in the trash! It’s simply not at all how Jesus lived, nor how He expects His body to live. Our purpose is to lead others to Him. If we’re too busy to do that, then we are entirely too busy!

2. I have another shirt that sometimes finds its way onto my body that says “My traditions matter more to me than truth.” Ouch! Throw that one out! Let’s lead the way in studying and praying for God’s guidance for every move so that we never get stuck in “what we’ve always done” and are continually finding new ways to serve God better.

3. The last shirt I want to tell you about is the one that says, “Your sins are worse than mine.” Do you have that one? I kind of think it is in everyone’s closet. It is so easy to justify my struggles and wonder why others have such a hard time “living right”. Romans 3:23 says that everyone has sinned, and amazingly, Paul doesn’t follow it up by saying, but some are so much worse than others! Definitely need to exchange that shirt for one that says, “Thankful for Christ’s blood that covers all of our sins.”

I feel sure that we all have different shirts that we need to weed out of our wardrobe—ideas or habits that limit my ability to really serve God and others. I hope my list will start you on the path to making your own list. Then, let’s commit to throwing all these “shirts” in the trash and simply “being the church”—Christ’s living breathing body.

Tammy Beck

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