Having attended church pretty much my entire life and been a church member for a good majority of it, I have recently come to the conclusion that church isn’t for me.
Now, before you start worrying that this minister is writing her resignation letter, let me explain.
There is a blog post making the rounds entitled, “Marriage Isn’t For You,” where a recently married gentleman explains the advice he received from his father as the man began to worry and fret about getting married. His dad’s advice: “Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.” The writer continues:
No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”
I see a certain parallel with our relationship to the church. Church isn’t for you; it isn’t for me. It’s not about us. It’s about others. It’s about loving others, looking out for their needs and hopes and dreams. It’s about giving of ourselves so that others may have an encounter with the living Christ, that others might have life and have it more abundantly.
What’s more, the more we truly love and care about others, the more love and care we ourselves receive. The more we give, the more we receive.
Too often we look at church as a menu of services, picking and choosing those things that best meet our needs. We want to stimulate our minds with Bible study and Wednesday programs and sermons, interest our children and youth in wholesome activity, delight our senses in worship – all without ever considering how these activities, worthy as they may be, engage us in the work of making the world a better place for others, the work of the Kingdom.
Being the church is about being about the things Christ was about, things like having a concern for the poor, the sick, the hungry; loving our enemies and forgiving others; proclaiming the good news that the Kingdom of God has come near. If we aren’t concerning ourselves with things such as these, we are missing the point.
Truly, the church isn’t for you. It’s for others.