Note: This is part one of a series of posts that will be made in response to this question. I hope it is a blessing to you, feel free to share your thoughts.
I am blessed. I did nothing to earn or deserve this blessing. The blessing that I am speaking of is the fact that I have never known life without the church. My parents both became Christians shortly after marriage and from the time I was a baby I was in Bible class. Only missing a service occasionally due to being sick. Other than that, I was always part of Bible classes, worship services, VBS, church camps, retreats, youth rally’s, Youth and Family devotionals, so on and so on. As stated before, I am blessed. I say these things not to brag, because seriously, I didn’t do anything to earn this blessing. I was born into it, I grew to love it, and then I chose it for myself and for my family as well.
It saddens me to think of so many people today who do not have a church that they call “home.” Many good hearted individuals that I know and communicate with on a regular basis fall into this category of people who do not regularly attend church. I began thinking about the blessings that I enjoy because of the church. Then I began thinking about what would happen to my life if I was not part of the church, how would it look different? I want to share with you just a few thoughts about what my life would look like if I was not part of the church.
Let’s face it, if I decided that I was no longer going to be part of the church, I would have a lot more free time. If you count up all of the time spent a bible class on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s, worship twice on Sunday’s, weekly youth devo’s, monthly youth rallies, weekend retreats, week long camps, week long door knocking campaigns, plus extra fellowship events and social gatherings connected to the church. I would have a lot more free time! What would I do with that free time? I’m sure I would watch even more sporting events than I do now, I would probably sleep in later on Sunday’s. I would probably watch more TV on Wednesday evenings. I might even get a few extra projects done around the house… maybe. However, I am afraid that the longer time went on, my “free time” would start to not feel like free time anymore. It would just become another slot of time that I don’t fully appreciate, after all, it happens every single week.
I believe rather strongly that if I was not part of the church I would not be fulfilled in my life. I have had a couple of jobs that had nothing to do with church. They were simply places I went to work, got paid by the hour or by the job. I clocked in, I worked, I clocked out, I got a paycheck. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, something always bothered me while I worked at those jobs. I felt an emptiness to what I was doing.
Please do not misunderstand or misquote me. I am not saying that if you work in a job that is not directly working for the church you are wasting your time. NOT AT ALL! Not only am I not saying that, it would be unbiblical for me to even imply such a thing. What I am saying is this. When I worked in carpentry, I could have a really good day on the job. I could work hard, get a lot accomplished, help the construction move along and maybe pick up a few extra dollars on the paycheck. However the work that I did that day was never going to lead someone to Jesus.
That bothered me. I know, I know, the example that I set, the words I used could have an impact on those around me (hopefully it did.) I am just letting you know that it bothered me to do something, get paid for something, that I knew no matter how good of a job I did, it wouldn’t bring someone to Jesus. I believe if I had no connection to the church, I would be living a life without fulfillment. I fear I would try to fulfill my life with many unhealthy habits and vices that would eventually cause a great deal of trouble for me.
Maybe the idea of working for the church (in a paid capacity) does not resonate with you. Maybe the feeling of having a void in your life does. I pray that if you are reading this post and you feel this ever growing void in your life, you will stop trying to fill that void with possessions, money, or entertainment. Maybe, you can start with Jesus and His church. Not on a “trial basis” where you give it a spin for a week. Rather dedicate yourself to something bigger than you, and watch as it changes your life.
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23 (ESV)