Just so we’re clear – I’m not telling you to stop going to church. I’m saying it may be time to stop going to THAT particular church.
So last time, we discussed the growth aspects of leaving a particular church. This time, let’s focus on the “people” aspect of church.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, we aren’t that kind. And, it shows in the church. The reason we aren’t that kind or joyous or at peace or loving, forgiving, or patient, is because we are at church for the wrong reason. We do not allow the fruits of the Spirit to develop via the Holy Spirit because we are at church for our own selfish gain.
Perhaps we are there to be seen. We are there to network and to be able to toss out that we go to THAT church.
But again, what about Jesus? Yes, the choir stirs your soul. But are you living the words you are singing? Do you even desire to?
Two words for you: Stop pretending.
You hear it all the time, “I’m sold out for Jesus. I’m radical for Christ” – but only on Sunday with my church friends. Monday to Saturday…bars, booze, boys, and soul ties that we can’t break free from.
But actually, you can. And sometimes, it involves breaking up with people you fellowship with.
Where Does Jesus Fit in Your Church Attendance?
Of course, church involves fellowship and social interaction. But. What. About. Jesus? Your pride may say, “Of course, it’s about Jesus!” But that’s because we often like to believe the best about ourselves. We don’t see the things we do that block us from being like Christ or seeing Christ in others.
We ALL fall short. And, that’s what this is really about – seeking Christ in order to be more Christ-like. Not just by the hymns and holy shouts at the House of Worship, but by our surrender to the Holy Spirit that dwells within.
And now, part 2 of the “Stop going to that church” self-exam. Remember, an F is not a failing grade – it’s an invitation to FIX IT, in the name of Jesus.
Stop going to that church…
…just because it’s popular.
Bragging rights are NOT of God. Miss Shirleen told y’all, “Be ye not puffed up” (about your fashions). But we can safely add your church home, your Pastor, or whatever. Do you want to name drop someone? Name drop Jesus. “Yeah, I know Him. That’s my right-hand Man!” (See what I did there?)
Note: It is okay to worship at a popular church. If the Word and teachings are Biblically sound, word gets out. But, members of some of the most popular churches are going to burn in the fires of hell because they wanted to be part of the “in” crowd, but never sought Jesus.
…just because you’ve been going there your whole life.
If your Spirit has been yearning for a new place to worship, but you won’t leave because your auntie, mama, and daddy go there, you may be missing what God has designed for you. Mama and Daddy will be fine if you leave. Auntie will, too. And, even if they aren’t…Go!
…that’s extra cliquish.
Jesus was inclusive. And, if your church culture keeps you from serving someone who doesn’t meet the criteria of cute-Christian-exclusive-coolness, you aren’t being like Jesus.
It’s not just about going out into the community, feeding the homeless, and going back home. It’s feeding your sisters and brothers who sit right next to you in the pews, who dress differently than you, or are a different color than you. Sometimes feeding is not physical food, but spiritual food – a kind word, an encouragement, and invitation. You can’t sit with us doesn’t work unless it’s Satan asking to be let in.
…just because the choir is bomb.
Lucifer was the director of music. He knows which things stir the soul. He knows music lulls you into feeling like you are closer to Jesus. But when the music stops, your feelings can go any which way. Don’t let that be your deciding factor. Let that be a perk of worshipping in Spirit and in Truth.
The Holy Spirit will let you know where to worship. He will send the invitation. It may come from the friend who’s always inviting you. It may come by a strong desire to walk into a particular church. Sometimes, it will come from your feeling of peace or from a discomfort that comes from being stretched. But you will know.
So, what’s the play call?
Move with the glory cloud – not with the glory crowd.
When God moved, Moses moved. The cloud covered them. The cloud provided light at night and shelter in the day. Your crowd of friends at your favorite church won’t do that. But the Holy Spirit will lead you to who will.