Church and Community | Mark’s Remarks

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I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to retreat from society and, like a turtle, stick my head back in my shell and stay at my house.

The word “adulting” comes to mind. It’s hard to “adult” sometimes. This attitude can include, and often has, going to church.

I’ve been a church goer all my life and I can’t tell you I’ve always wanted to go. Some of the nastiest people around have been encountered at church, and there are plenty of folks in my “church past” who I wouldn’t hold up as a good example. Heck, there are probably people saying the same thing about me.

However, I also know that I have been inspired, motivated, prodded and blessed immeasurably by my church and my church family. Over the years, we’ve all helped and supported one another. There are people at my church who are loved and who are indeed family.

Churches today run into problems, just like they have for years. You have disagreements. You have small groups that are cliquey. It’s hard, sometimes, for folks to relate to one another. People often want to bring food and do good things for one another, but they don’t want to invest in a relationship and keep the ball rolling. Some people who go to church still feel lonely and left out. It’s too bad and I’m not sure I have a good answer for it.

Lots of people stay away from church. Someone has upset them. They think the church is full of hypocrites.  Some of the gossips and people they can’t stand profess to be big church goers. On and on the list of excuses goes.

Someone point blank asked me why I went to church one day. I hum-hawed around and didn’t have a good answer. I said something about the fact that I’d always gone, I go to worship, and I feel God wants us to be part of a church body.

Long ago, family stuck together. People lived closer together and often in the same house. Life was designed to depend on one another and that’s how things were done.

These days, we are more self-sufficient. People move far away. We don’t have connections with others like we used to. You don’t have folks who go “visiting” anymore and many of us like to keep to ourselves.

I won’t take up a lot of space here about what the Bible says about attending church and being part of a community, but I will tell you that the Bible also tells us, simply, that we need one another. We need community and we need to worship together. We are built for it. 

It’s easier to go through something when you go through it together.  This is what God intended.

You see people in church all the time who come and go. They stick around on the outskirts, coming when they want, not serving and not getting connected.  They are missing out on a blessing.

Being on our own is not part of God’s design. He wants us to depend on him, and he also wants us to depend on others. This is a hard pill for even the least prideful people to swallow.  I completely get that.

I really do feel, however, that we need each other. We need to put trust in others and rely on others. When you have others around, it’s easier to carry your burdens. I will also tell you that I have experienced first hand what it’s like to have a  large number of people praying for you. It’s truly miraculous.

Go to church. You aren’t there for the people, but you sure will find some good ones. You may have to go more than once or twice, though, to believe what I’m saying.

Why not give it a shot?

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