Church. One word. One syllable and yet such a confusing concept. I like books, lots of books, books change my life, however I have been noticing a lot of books i like criticize 'the church' point out problems in 'the church' but this summer God has been showing me he loves the church, and the problems arent that bad because really a lot of the problems, arguments, disagrements and hurt isn't caused by the church as founded by Jesus but by some other organisation that we made up. You see Jesus said he was going to build his church, he told peter he was the rock on which he would build the church. Jesus was talking about Christians, Christ followers, believers or whatever term you want to use. But so often when we think of the church that is not what we imagine.
We are the church and when we live lives that follow God's guidelines given to us in the Bible then the church works we as part of the church are working and glory goes to God.
So when you put someone before yourself, God is pleased with his church, when we help people in need God is pleased with his church. He doesnt care about the pews, the hymn books, the flowers, the slick programmes, when we do what he cares about us. Our lives because we are the church. I believe it is good to meet up with other christians as we do on a sunday and be together as the church and I think God is grieved when individuals don't live according to God's word, but I think we need to stop blaming 'the church' for all our own shortcomings.
The church is not an institution or organisation so it is time to stop blaming 'the church' for pushing people away or being old fashooned or stubborn because we are the church, the church is God's idea and we belittle God's idea if we make it into something else.
I want you to think of 'the church' in your head...
What do you see? Old men? old buildings? miserable looking people?
This is your own misconception when God sees the church he sees al his followers. Children singing God songs they are the church, Homeless men in LA crying out to God they are the church, Women and Children who know God living in the slums in Africa unable to prevent preventable diseases becuase they weren't born in the west they are the church. The Church is bigger than your local congregation, your town, your country, your continent. God is not dissapointed n the church, and if you love God you will love the church.