{Church Is… | Personal}

{photo taken around June Lake, CA}

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what church really is supposed to be. Lets face it, most of us are dissatisfied with what the church in America has become, it just doesn’t seem like it’s functioning the way God intended it to.

We’ve decided that church is not a building, or a time, or a meeting or a potluck, and rightly so… but if it’s not what is it? Then we look at the book of Acts and decided that it must be community, living in unity as a body and fellowshipping together, which sounds good, but how does it work? What if we’re not living in unity, what if we’re not getting a long, what if things just become actions?

Church is never just a meeting. The church isn’t a Sunday service, it isn’t a community group, or people having fun together {although the church can do these things, it isn’t these things}. Is the church simply a collection of people whose biggest, highest and only goal is love Jesus with all their mind, soul and strength? Whose passion is Jesus first, and which is then followed by a passion for people?

“The church” {or the body of Christ} cannon be a formula and it can’t always look a certain way. We as humans have a tendency that as soon as we put a structure to something it becomes a formula. Structure isn’t in itself bad, but the formula is… because it removes the relationship with God.

So the beginning of the Church is Jesus. Then come the broken people who need a relationship with their Savior. As their relationship grows, Jesus becomes their passion, their Father, their Life, and they naturally want to share that with others.

THIS is the church.

The church should be about relationships. But very FIRST, before any thing else, is a relationship with Jesus. It should be number one, and nothing should happen until it is strong and is truly number one. THEN come the other relationships.

Church is not a building, or a social gathering, or a discussion group. The church is not an outreach, the chuch is not a mission, it is not a recharge station, it is not caring about people, the church is JESUS IN US.

“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” {Revelation 2:2-4}

All those things, everything I just mentioned… will eventually come. But it’s not what the church IS. The church is about Jesus, and only Jesus. And Jesus can never be a formula, Jesus can never be the “next step” toward a goal, and Jesus will never be a building.

Jesus in us equals the church.

“The Church” must simply be a collection of people who have Jesus living in them. A collection of people whose first love and passion is Jesus. Whose LIFE is Jesus. 

If we want to change the church as we know it, if we want to fulfill what God really wanted and desired when He called us the Body of Christ, we need to start with ourselves. We need to cultivate the church in us, not our relationships with other people, not our live, not our humbleness, not our unity. We need to cultivate our relationship with our Father, no matter what it takes.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” {1 Corinthians 12:27}