I have many times hoped that I will not need to write or talk about “going to Church” again, but a recent incident got me thinking in that direction again. It had to do with a pretty difficult conversation I had with a dear brother. Having had a good two days together, it was time for us to part and head home. As we waited for my transport, he asked what seemed to be a question he had held, but could not hold any longer, “You told me last time that you have stopped looking for a church? So you just stay home on Sundays?”
Being a brother I have great respect for, our short conversation weighed heavily in my heart for the larger part of my journey back home. Interestingly as I have thought and meditated through the issues surrounding church attendance and my journey in that regard, I have increasingly thought about what the problem is and what it would take to correct it. Further, it has made me evaluate why it sometimes has felt like some kind of paralysis is creeping in, whereby one is unable to go back to church meetings as we knew them, and on the other hand unable to go forward as we are not sure what it takes to pursue the blueprint or how it looks like.
I am increasingly being persuaded that the problem has to do with foundation. Meetings have previously been viewed as the foundation, giving focus to the formation of church, the body instead of the Head – Christ who is the life of the body. In cases where the wrong foundation was laid, demolition or an uprooting is necessary first , to give way to the right foundation. Where the right foundation has already been laid but probably clouded by other building concerns, whatever debris lies on the foundation need to be removed so that the plumb line for the walls building can rightly reference the true foundation.
The Right Foundation;
“11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 3)
The time I have been out of the institutional church has been a great opportunity to honestly evaluate where my foundation lies. I have greatly been surprised by how much I depended on denomination to give me identity, instead of Christ. I have seen how much the answer to “what church do you go to?” has given me a sense of pride and belonging on the one hand, not realizing that it is at the heart of ‘us vs they’ mentality on the other which divides the body;
“Is Christ divided??” (1Cor 1:13)
“…but we preach Christ..” (1Cor 1:22)
“..For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified..” (1Cor 2:2)
Dear saints, one thing, and one thing is important to have our full focus. All the rest will flow out of that, the right foundation, our relationship with Christ, connectedness to the Vine – all the rest will flow out of that including the formation, the building of the Church, His body, for the stones He is using to build are alive by His Life.