I’ve been doing some random thinking (for a change?) on one small area of the church, prompted by several conversations with friends and family and some recent experiences… Feel free to disagree with me, I’m not out to make anyone feel guilty! It’s not particularly coherent, maybe you can help refine my ponderings?
When reading about the Body of Christ in the New Testament there appear to be two approaches. One that is more often communicated is that you are a member of the body, you have a special role to play, you should not be turned away, you should always be valued. It’s an inclusive message that emphasises the role of the individual, the gifts and skills that God can use etc.
The other approach is the us perspective. We need you.
Fellowship is a two-way (in fact, three-way!) thing – going to ‘church’ because we want to meet with God and be blessed is only part of the story. Here’s another part: We go to be a blessing. Absenting ourselves (due to late night, busy week, boring preacher, lacklustre worship…) harms the body.
I don’t think many people – including Christian professionals – see it that way. Is it just that my understanding of ‘church’ is different? I know that a group of teenagers at YF, or young adults in a home, or a weekly prayer meeting, or whatever, is just as much ‘church’ as a group of all-ages from the local community meeting on a Sunday morning; but who should I call my home?
Whoever I call my ‘home church’ is the group I should not deprive of my presence wherever possible.