Happy New Year! With a new year always comes new commitments and new ideas for getting healthy or reading more or whatever it may be. Good luck with all of those.
I had the idea to write more, but not only write more, but to be more intentional about what I write. I still have the idea to write a book, and I am still constantly writing on that. But, this is where my writing started. I still think that writing about worship is important. There are way more people doing it today than there was 7 years ago, but this is a calling that God gave to me and so I’m doing it.
Just like God gave me writing, God gave us the church. Because of this, I still feel that the church is important. Working at a church constantly keeps the role of the church in the world at the forefront of my mind, and this year is no different. Everyday the church continues to come under attack. The influence continues to wain as the world continues to ask questions that they don’t seem to get answered. Add to that the megachurch pastors who are trying to justify why they need 65 million dollar jets and you can see why this title can seem farfetched. But believe me, the church is still important today.
Reason 1: There are still people who haven’t heard. Our mission is to share the Gospel story with those who haven’t heard it. Everyday there are people who haven’t heard this story. The church is still a place for people to hear that story. The church has to make sure that they are telling the story completely.
Reason 2: The importance of the local church cannot be overshadowed by the media’s portrayal of the church. I feel like the church needs to be at the forefront of caring for the people in its community. People are hurting and the church is a place for hurting people. So many times we have been portrayed as a place where people are perfect and we are just continuing in our perfection. In reality, the church is filled with hurting people. It is important for us to pull back the veil that hides our ugliness and be real.
Reason 3: God isn’t finished yet. This excites me. It excites me because it means there is still work to be done. Working at a church I know that there is always work that needs to be done there. We just wrapped up the Christmas season and frankly, it wore me out. But I do it because the story has to be told. The story of Jesus coming to save us is the most important story of all. In a couple months we are going to tell the part of the story where Jesus dies and then rises on the third day. That only matters because the Savior was born. The Savior was born because he had to die for us. This story continues to be told and continues to be important. Why do we need a Savior? Well, if you are reading this then you live in this world. Living in this world means that you have witnessed the killing and the degradation of human life. You’ve witnessed people blurring gender lines. You have witnessed people searching for answers in every way possible. Eventually everyone runs out of answers. The church has to still be standing at the end of it all. Christ has to be on the throne at the end of the day. I, for one, believe that He will be. If I believe that, then the church has to be there when people run out of options.
The church’s importance comes from the pure, unadulterated light that shines in the darkness. It is warm and comforting for those who need it. It is sharp and blinding for those who don’t want it to shine on them. It is a lot of things to a lot of people, but know this, it is the light that brings freedom. The church is the place that houses that light. Because of that, the church is still important.