"That is the real church. Probably the title of this article should not have been 'The Church and Us'. Rather, it should have been 'The Church IS Us!' Why? Because the Church of Jesus Christ really does live through each of us. That is what the article in the paper this morning should have been about."
Good article in the morning paper. It was about the Lutheran Church in Minnesota. I know a bit about this subject. I was baptized and raised a Lutheran (Lutheran Church of America back then). I was married in a Lutheran Church (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod). We went to a Lutheran Church (as a family) for years (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) and both our girls were baptized in that church. Finally after I retired, I worked for a while as an Executive Director at a Missouri Lutheran Church.
That being said, my wife and I are no longer Lutherans. We did not leave in a huff, we left because we felt the Lutheran Church started to stray from what we believed. We still want the very best for all denominations of the Lutheran Church. It is after all, part of the Bride of Christ.
I have said for many years now, the church (regardless of denomination) is strongest when the church acts like the church. The article in the paper this morning was talking about how Lutheran Churches continue to shrink in numbers. If a church appears to be rote, insular, or (yes, I have read books on this one) boring, the numbers start to go down. However, when a church is active in mission, has vibrant worship, honest fellowship, strong biblical teachings, as well as equipping - the church will grow like crazy.
One thing I learned many years ago, and then also experienced it, is anointing. A very wise pastor told me at one time that different churches go though anointing at different times. People go through anointing at different times. When you are involved with a church which has strong anointing - grasp it. It is a true blessing. If your church is not growing, if the anointing is not as strong as it should be, try to change it from within. If the church is not open to change, it is then time to leave. Find a church, within or outside your denomination, where the anointing, the teaching, the equipping, is strong.
Our church journey has landed us in a church far away from our Lutheran roots. And we are fine with it. The teaching is true and biblical. Is it a perfect church? No, there are some things I wish were different. But the most important thing is their strong suit - the teaching.
One final thing - and I think this is the real core of the issue. Once you become equipped, you are good to go. In other words, church is not the building, and it is not just about just Sunday morning. It is about how we live, how we show others how we live, the hours outside the church building. Yes, we gather on Sunday morning to worship, praise and learn. What we do with it is up to us once we leave the church service.
That is the real church. Probably the title of this article should not have been "The Church and Us". Rather, it should have been "The Church IS Us!" Why? Because the Church of Jesus Christ really does live through each of us. That is what the article in the paper this morning should have been about.