The problem is not that the Church is bad or wrong or needs reform. The problem is that we think, speak and act as if there were moments in our lives when we are not the Church. We think of Church as this or that—it’s the institution, or it’s the building, or it’s the worship service, or it’s the altar call, or it’s the bible study, or it’s the prayer group, or it’s the social functions, or it’s the fund raising, or any number of other ‘its.’
The reality is first and foremost that we are in Christ. That fact alone establishes the Church, not only in every time and place, but in every one of us, alone or in a crowd. Yet we fail to see that, and continue living as though church were something to do, and to do only at specific times, in specific places.
This is not to say that there ought not to be ‘sacred spaces,’ sanctuaries, churches, but that these tangibles are not to become an external focus, supplanting in us the knowledge and experience of our being in Christ. When this happens in any age or place, the Church suffers loss, the members of Christ’s Body become the prey of wolves.
For us as Christians, there is nothing in this human life that is not infused with God, with His presence, and so there is nothing that cannot be infused with our acknowledgment of Him in everything we think, speak and do. That acknowledgment is worship: we recognize God by acknowledging Him in all our relationships with people, events and things, and we testify that He alone is worthy, and that is worship.
This is not to say that worship is not or cannot occur in church services, but when there is no actual worship going on there, it becomes a hollow ritual, evidence against us that we have forgotten who we are, not necessarily who God is. When this happens, it’s not time to reform churches, redesign services, deploy different ministry methods, or hire a marketing team.
When this happens, it’s time to repent our apostasy, to return to God and to live in His House all the days, all the moments, of our lives, in His presence, in His Word.
It’s time to become His disciples.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the world of the past has gone…
2 Corinthians 5:17
Wake up from your sleep, rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
Ephesians 5:14 Jerusalem Bible