One morning on Memorial Day weekend, a little boy was walking with his dad to church for a Sunday service. The church had a cemetery as a part of its campus with a big monument specially decorated for the holiday right in the middle of it. The boy noticed and asked, “What is that, dad?”
The dad replied, “Well, son, that’s a monument honoring the people who died in the service.”
The boy looked up with big eyes and asked, “Was it the early service or late service?”
We all have misconceptions about church, right? Maybe not quite like this kid’s, but we do have them. One of the biggest misconceptions I hear is that church is not important. So let’s talk about that. Why is church important, anyway?
God tells us why church is important in Isaiah 61:2-3. He says that it exists “to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion (the Church) – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
So here’s part of what God wants Church to mean to us – when we’re in despair, when we’re hurting, God wants to give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. He wants to give us oil of joy instead of mourning, and He wants us to have a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness – a heritage of praise and victory.
Here’s another part of why Church is important for us. It’s vital for us to receive God’s grace well. God’s grace is meant to function powerfully in believers when they pray, play their part and take their place in the Body of Christ. Lastly, Church is important for us to release God’s grace well. As believers, we must embrace His passion and esteem His purpose among other believers!
Today, maybe your struggle with Church is that it seems far removed from your life. Here’s the truth – God is not just somewhere off in the heavens, unconcerned. He longs to communicate with you personally and intimately as well as corporeally with other believers.
No matter how we perceive it, the fact is the Church was never meant to be simply a building. It’s not the building that will bring people out of darkness and into light. It’s not the building that will bring healing into lives. It’s not the building that will bring glory to God until Jesus comes back! The people will.
This is what Church is: Church is how we love each other, serve each other, beat the devil off each other’s lives and watch God do great things.
Church is how we passionately pursue what is in the heart of God. Church truly is important to all of our lives.
So if you don’t have a church to call home, I encourage you to find one. Your life will never be the same.