1 June, 2011, 4:23 pm
Have you ever found yourself wondering why we do church? There are many reasons we might consider for why we go to church. Perhaps it is tradition or habit or to grow in faith or the music or the lovely sanctuary or our friends or we are involved in the church’s activities and outreach. Why do church?
Whatever our reason or reasons for doing church Jesus left us with a clear purpose for being the church. In his “Great Commission” in Matthew 28: 19-20 Jesus lays out the mission statement for the church in which he calls his followers to ‘make disciples’ of all people. The church’s task from the beginning has been outward in focus. I know this talk of making disciples may seem somewhat evangelical for many of us who are more comfortable with a quiet personal faith but clearly Jesus did not intend for us to do church just for ourselves. The church has a mission to reach others for Jesus. To reach out and to tell people about and through our actions to show the good news of God’s love and grace as found in Jesus.
What might this look like in the second decade of the 21st Century? I recently came across a church that uses three catch phrases to frame how they do church.
- COME AND WORSHIP: Worship is where we grow closer to God and discover the presence of the Holy Spirit for our daily lives. It is also where we connect with others who are seeking to follow Jesus.
- STAY AND LEARN: Church is where we find opportunities to learn about and to grow in Christian faith. This learning as followers of Jesus strengthens our own faith and prepares us to better share faith with others.
- GO AND SERVE: As followers of Jesus we are sent out into the community to serve those in need and to work for justice and peace. We are called not just to be observers of God’s love and grace but also active participants.
Come and Worship, Stay and Learn, Go and Serve…those are the best reasons I know for doing church! That’s what we are striving to become as God’s People here at St. John’s.