It’s kinda funny – the amount of churches saying, “Don’t GO to church BE the Church!”
As witty as they think that is, they are inadvertently telling people not to go to church.
Really, guys? Don’t go to church?
Nevertheless, they throw this message on signs, bumper stickers and other graphics… they even make it a slogan for their congregation or sermon series.
Hey everybody, don’t go to our church!
A few have altered it a little by adding the word “just”, as in “Don’t JUST go to church; be the Church”. But the problem is still the same. The message being communicated is that Church is not a place you go to. You can be the Church right where you are sitting (like laying on the couch in front of your television), or where you work, or where you shop. That might not be the intended message, but it is what is being said and understood.
But, here’s the thing: Going to church IS being the Church.
Let’s understand what the Church is. According to Ephesians 1:23,
“…The church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
So, the Church is the body of people, filled with Christ, representing Christ in all creation. So, the Church is people, not a building.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that since Church is not a building you don’t have to go. The Church is people… PLURAL! You, yourselves are not the Church. According to Peter, you are a part of the Church.
“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
“Jesus Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)
The Lord commands us to gather regularly.
“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day of the Lord drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
If the church gathers in a building, then that’s where you need to go. If they meet on Sunday, you go on Sunday.
The Church is where we, as one body Grow in God’s word (Ephesians 4:11-16), Listen to exhortation and teaching (1 Timothy 4:13), sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16), pray together (Acts 1:14), partake in the Lord’s supper together (1 Corinthians 11:33), celebrate baptism (Ephesians 4:5), celebrate marriage (Hebrews 13:4), rejoice in life (1 John 3:14), mourn together in times of mourning (Romans 12:15), and encourage and admonish one another (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
We can’t grow together if we are not meeting together.
So, Go to church to BE the Church.