This is something that has been on my mind for quite some time and I’m just gonna write about it in my own personality and use my thoughts.
Kevin and I have been pastoring a church for 4 years. I know that is a very short time in comparison. In the last 4 years we have seen people come and go. There are times due to preferences, leadership styles, beliefs, etc. people will choose another direction after visiting. I am making it a personal choice that when someone chooses to leave our church for whatever reason that it is not taken personally and I remember that no matter location, we are still in the body of Christ!!
Here’s where I have trouble…..IF we truly are one body of Christ why do we (of course not me or you) allow ourselves to love conditionally when it comes to where we attend church? “Oh, I don’t go there anymore so when I am in Wal-Mart I no longer have to be friendly, hug, smile, wave or stop and chat with the member of that previous church.” (That’s just an example)
I have a very good friend that years ago decided that it was time to move on from a church she had attended for a long time. She was relaying to me that there have literally been times when running into some from that church they have ignored her or maybe they will just wave and keep walking. However, when she was a member of that church it was hugging and loving when they would see each other out. I have had this experience myself. We have had people leave that when I see them they will hardly look me in the eye.
Why is it that we define ourselves in the Kingdom by what “building” we walk into on Wednesdays or Sundays? The Kingdom is so much bigger than this kind of narrow thinking. Are we not all working toward the same goal? Are we not all part of the body of Christ? Are you not my brother or sister no matter what church you attend?
Just last night a friend relayed that someone walked into a restaurant with a t-shirt on with the name of his church on it. Another person in the restaurant pointed to him and said…”Oh..you are that new church that is our competition now.” WOW! We are not and should not be in competition with each other. We should rejoice when sinners come to God no matter where! Church is not a social event!
God help us and challenge us! Help us to break out of the boxes we have put You in. This is what church is….this is how church should be…. A church is not a building…We ARE the church. I have often said that if people and their positions weren’t so threatened, we would come together and work together more.
We are, in God’s eyes, the BODY! I don’t believe he sees us as “so and so” from “new church in town”, “so and so”, “baptist”, “so and so”, “pentecostal”, or “so and so”, “methodist”. He sees us all as His children and desires for us to do His work, be His vessels and seek His face…as ONE!