Thursday, April 11, 2013

More than a Set of Pews

     What is your concept of the church?  What value does it have to you?  Many of these kinds of questions have been left unanswered by today's youth; and if they have been answered, too often the answers are shaped by a worldly view.  The topic of whether or not the church is necessary in Christian life is becoming increasingly controversial in our culture.  Teens, even at young ages, are leaving the church in hoards.  Some argue that the church is only meant to convert non-believers and isn't required for those who are Christians, or that it's too judgmental, legalistic, or simply that they "aren't supposed to be there."  While the reasons for youth leaving the church vary quite a bit, I believe it is our mindset that first needs to change.

     If you think the church is simply an organization or a spiritual recharge station, you're wrong.  The church is not an organization, it was instituted by God.  If He commanded and established the church, how could we possibly brush it off as a mere formality?  Ephesians 5:25-30 tells us of God's incredible passion for the church.  He gave Himself for her, He cleansed her, and most of all He cherishes her.  Knowing this, how could we possibly think the church is just another organization?

     More than this, the church is much more than a spiritual recharge station.  Now you might say, "But that's basically what the church is, isn't it?  We come to get filled up, right?"  Well, yes and no.  The church is certainly a place where we can (or at least should) be able to get encouragement and get pumped up to pursue righteousness in our lives.  But if we come just for this, we're missing the entire point.  A "spiritual recharge station" implies that it's all about what we're getting.

     The early church is the greatest example of what our modern churches should look like.  In the entire book of Acts, every Christian was so fired up for Christ that they met in people's homes, gave everything they could to the ministry, and spread the news like a raging wildfire.  Unfortunately, it seems that we have lost this passion.

     It's not our job to sit in the pews and just hear the Word, it's our job to go out and do it.  Christ intends for the church to lead the ministry, but how can it if no one steps up?  Even as young people (especially as young people), we need to step into the ministries of the church.  Our generation needs to see youth who are passionate about the role of the church, and who are right there fulfilling their calling, not just sitting in the pews.

     What do you think is wrong with the church today?  What can you do in your own church that will inspire other youth to step up?  I'd love to hear your comments!