Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)
These very familiar words were spoken by Christ and serve as the installation of the Church as the key component for the work of Christ in the world. “Christ has come into the world to save sinners,” says the Apostle Paul. That mission has now been left behind to the Church. Christ has come indeed, but now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for believers and awaiting the fullness of time when He will return and all that was right and perfect before the fall of man will be restored. He left behind the Church, the gathering of believers for the purpose of continuing the cause of Christ to reach the world with the message of hope and salvation. The Church is not the building. The building only serves to house the gathering of the Church for the purpose of corporate encouragement, worship, and challenge. The building also serves as a sending place where those who answer the call to “go” are sent with blessing and resources to accomplish the task. All of this sounds very important to me. This task of Heaven is the ultimate purpose of our creator and He has chosen the Church to carry it out.
Why then does Church for so many become inconsistent and unimportant? How can something so valuable as the mission of Christ take a back seat to our schedules and commitments to other things? Simple answer: The enemy. He would distract and confuse and makes it easier to do just about everything else but be an active servant among the Church. Where do you find yourself? Apathetic towards the mission? Struggling with attending? Hesitant to serve? There are certainly many who battle with all this. Let me give you a little help.
I realize that coming to Church is not the end of all that we have been saved for. However, being committed to the Church is the beginning of believers finding their place in God’s great saving purpose. So here are 3 P’s to help you be encouraged that being a part of God’s Church can become the priority in yours and your family’s schedule.
Plan – We make a spot in our schedule for the events in our lives that are important. The gathering of God’s people for worship and encouragement qualifies as important. Plan to be a part. Put it on the calendar. Make it a priority. Learn to say “NO” to the “other stuff” that so easily takes precedent over the ministry of the Church.
Prepare – “Our clothes weren’t ready.” “We did not get up in time.” “We were out late on Saturday night.” The list will go on. If you never prepare to come, you will never get here. Bathe the kids. Set the alarm. Go to bed on time. Get the clothes ready. I know this all sounds so simplistic but imagine the joy of not having to hurry and rush, or scramble for the right clothes, and arriving with a sound mind and a happy family to worship with God’s people. Doesn’t that sound great? You can do it; we’ve all gotten up early and dressed the kids for ball or cheering or dance, etc! We can do this for God.
Pray – The enemy does not want you and your family to worship with God’s people. He wants you to remain defeated and distracted. Too many are burdened with the guilt of knowing what they should be doing. Begin to pray for the commitment, for the right plan, for the proper preparation so that you and your family are participating in God’s plan to reach the world, the Church. Here is a prayer for you: “Father, I know that you have left behind your Church to do the work of your Son until He comes again. I am a part of that Church through faith in Christ. Help me to lead my family to be ready every Sunday to join Your people to worship Your name and to be challenged to live a life that honors You.”
Serving and Loving,