Friday, January 6, 2017

Church Signs: "A Church Alive...

...Is Worth the Drive."

This was on the sign in front of a church just down the road from our house. Now, I have no firsthand knowledge of how "alive" this church is, so I won't address that. My issue is more with the idea of making a (possibly long) drive to a church.

When Jan and I were in the process of trying to find a church a few years ago, we visited a few churches within the metro area of which our city is a part. Most of them had good things going for them, and probably could be considered "alive" by most folks. None of them had any doctrinal issues that would have been a deal breaker.

There was one thing that steered us away from all of these churches. They were all at least a twenty to thirty minute drive from our house. While that would have been fine if all we were looking for was a Sunday morning worship service, we were looking for something quite different. We were looking for community, a place where we could serve, love, and be loved. We were looking for a group that we could join with in living as brothers and sisters who saw life together as the church as far more than just a once or twice a week meeting. We wanted a spiritual family that spent time fellowshipping and discipling as a part of day-to-day life.

We wanted to serve with the folks we worshipped with and worship with the folks we served with. We desired to be fully part of a community of faith. Fortunately, we have found that and I can't imagine traveling one day a week to worship with people who I only see on that day.

There are a lot of folks who do prefer the drive in order to find a church which is "alive." I know that there are churches like that who do kingdom work and truly make disciples. However, I believe that the model of smaller, parish type churches who live in community and are a part of the neighborhood where they are located are what is going to do the most work for the kingdom in the days to come. I believe that a time may come in this country when followers of Jesus will have to live in community in order to continue. It might do us good if we started now.

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