Why Am I Still In The Church?

We are living in some dangerous, exciting, and historical days. While the church of Jesus Christ expands and His Kingdom advances, there is also a back door through which many millions have chosen to leave through.

Speaking of the American evangelical church, everyone from Barna to Dobson has been lamenting the mass exodus of hordes of people from the church for years.

The angry. The misunderstood. The theologically moderate. The wounded and confused. The bored. The busy.

The books written about this migration out of the church could sink a battleship, so I feel no need to add to their already significant research.

But in light of all this, the enormous volume of my generation that leaves the church for the aforementioned reasons, and knowing what I know (and having seen the ugly side of Christians and church life), there is really one question that I keep asking myself, and I think you need to ask yourself as well.

WHY AM I STILL IN THE CHURCH?

What keeps me coming back over and over again? And for many, this is just a Sunday question because Sunday is about it, as far as attendance and involvement goes.

But for me, church is my life and my livelihood. I am a pastor, so you may say, well you have to go. But you’re wrong. I don’t!

So why stick around?

There are many answers, but I only want to mention one today.

Take it or leave it, argue with it, do what you will with this, but this is the over-arching , all-encompassing reason I still love the the church, and all the other reasons must be secondary to this one.

I STILL LOVE THE CHURCH AND STAY IN THE CHURCH BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IT IS RIGHT BECAUSE THE CHURCH IS GOD’S IDEA, I BELONG TO GOD, AND I OBEY HIM.

I can give many more reasons, but they all flow from this reality. I did not invent the church, nor did you.

The church was God’s idea, His way of continuing His work in the world that He began with Abraham, through Israel, through Jesus Christ, and now through His Body, the community of faith.

The church IS NOT AN OPTION.

The bottom line for me is that I belong to God. I was purchased by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. From that moment, I ceased to be my own anymore, meaning that when He became my Lord, I began doing what He wanted me to do, not what I wanted to do anymore.

So for me to deny His family, to remove myself from His body, and say that I don’t need it, is akin to taking back Lordship from Him and saying, “No thanks, God. I tried you out as Lord, and did not like your leadership or your church. I will now take back control of my own life, thank you very much.”

I can hear some people reading this right now and saying, “But you don’t understand. It’s not that easy. I have been hurt, the church is corrupt, people have let me down.”

I would never minimize the hurt and pain that church issues cause people. I certainly know and understand  how that feels. But I will also not minimize the Church of the Living God, His very body, because some of His children can’t quite get it right and fight over how to make it work, either.

So I still love the church and stay in the Church because, simply put, it is right to love the church.

Even with all it’s trouble and splits and plagues, power struggles, ego-maniacs, the church will always be God’s idea, God’s people, and ultimately, God’s business.

Since I am also His, I choose to continue loving, and living in, His church. And in my opinion, so should you.

Because Of Him,

Chris

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