Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Church

ttechurch

Attending church

Thank you for reading our page on “church attendance” I hope and pray that this is a blessing to you and please check out our other pages and blogs as the LORD leads.

What is “church”?

When you become a Christian it is paramount that in addition to private prayer and devotions either on your own or with your family that it is very important to fellowship regularly with believers. People have their own pre-conceived notions about what a church is and what a church should be, however a church is not a grand building like Westminster Abbey or York Minster, the church is a fellowship of believers or as some may say the people who occupy the building as opposed to the actual building itself. Jesus was quite matter of fact when it came to the simplicity of “church”

Matthew 18:20 (ESV) For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Simple huh? If fact, some of the ways that we complicate church really bemuses me! Having been involved in a missions plant church in Scotland we had the simplest of set ups, we had amps so people could hear, we had a virtual soundboard on the pastors lap top and we set out temporary chairs about an hour before we began, but none of that mattered. It was about the community rather than the building, the set up or other stuff that we cloud our judgment about a church.

On the flip side of this, my daughter recently attended a VBS at a beautifully landscaped church building and property, as lovely as it was to look at it did not change my feelings towards the folks inside. (Edit note – I have great love for the people at that church)

Church can take many forms, in the western world you may meet in a house, be a church plant, rent a building or own a place of your own. The important thing is that you meet together and not get caught up in what your church has or does not have. The idea is to be plugged in, help when you can and be an active part of the church.

Leadership of the church

The church should have a structure, people who take care of certain duties; Paul in his letter to the Ephesian church wrote the following:

 

Ephesians 4:11 (ESV) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

 

We read that the leader’s job is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” and this is vital for Christian growth, I would put this as one of two priorities in choosing a fellowship.

1) Do they teach the bible? Is the doctrine sound?
2) Is there discipleship, whether intentional or not? How is the community? Are people investing in each other?

If you are not growing as a Christian and the main issue is your church, examine your heart, do all you can do in order to change what you need to change and then bring it to the relevant people at your church, if it still is not resolved then it may be best to part and “go with God”. (But please do it amicably)

I say this as I have seen many folks leave many churches and be mad at the previous leadership when they could perhaps have resolved things by talking things over. Churches will not be perfect, they are inhabited by sinful human beings who will fail, will hurt (usually unintentionally) but will have a desire to love.

Love one another

Hebrews 10:23 (ESV) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The important key to any successful church is a common love for one another, we have to genuinely want to love, invest, meet together. I have been judged quite harshly at times by people who have spent very little time with me, regardless we are called to love, regardless of whether we receive it back or not.

We have to be a source of encouragement, firstly to our peers but also to the newer believers. I am a chatty guy, I love talking to people, with my accent it can be difficult for some, however my wife tells me that there is no such thing as a stranger with me. I am very keen to welcome and make others feel welcome.

Looks for ways to encourage, exhort, take opportunities to invest in people and plug in, invite folks over, and go over to other people’s houses. (Usually wait for an invite first though!) Use common interests as an excuse to spend time together, text each other to encourage. There are literally many ways of encouraging, depends on who you are and who you are trying to reach.

How we should be at church

Colossians 3:12 (ESV) Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

You will notice a theme here, “love” we have to be compassionate in heart, kind, humble, patient and meek to others, preferring others as more than yourselves. My advice, forgive and don’t hold a grudge. We have been forgiven of so much in our old sinful nature, what is our brothers little sin against us?

We are to sing spiritual songs, having a thankful heart with God, giving thanks for all the things, the good and the bad. I would go further and pray for people, in person and remotely, nothing changes your attitude towards someone more than praying for them.

Order of service

Acts 2:42 (ESV) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

If your church is not devoted to teaching the word and praying then you need to be in prayer yourself as to ask if this is where you need to be. I reference the church in Acts as these guys were so sold out, they cared about nothing except getting the Word of God out and being the church, being with one another.

I am not suggesting you have to sell all that you own like they did, however, often times possessions can get in the way of the work that we should be doing for the ministry.

There was a higher level of importance that day in being sold out for Jesus, because of the hearts of the people and the dedication to the mission, signs and wonders were happening, people were being healed, the church was in a state of revival and their numbers increased.

I am not all about numbers, but I am about seeing people getting saved and then coming to church and the cycle continues.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

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