Church isn't where you meet. Church isn't a bulding. Church is what you do. Church is who you are. Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ. Let's not go to church, let's be the church. ~Bridget Willard
This was the first time I was in the hospital since my Emily was born -- 18 years ago. I had great nurses, techs and nutritionists, but it was, well...a hospital. I was happy to be released. Hurrying home I packed my suitcases and we left for our conference. I got to watch the services through live streaming in my hotel room, giving me time to rest and heal. So to all you faithful readers who have been concerned, I am alive and well!
I chose to go to the last service because it's one of my favorites of the conference. Five Bible College choirs and orchestras join together as a mass choir. The director this year was a man who sang in RB's choir years ago. We always love it when Jerry directs.
I hope you'll listen to their last song (linked here). We hear so much about the failures of the church. The church is either too conservative or too worldly. Too many uncaring members. Too many hypocrites. Too boring. Too many rules. Too sick to do much good.
I disagree. Oh yes, I do agree that you could find these "failures" and many other faults among the pews and even pulpits of the church. I, too, get weary of the focus on rules without attention to integrity and character. To the profession of love when the focus is funds. But God's church? His church goes beyond attendance numbers, the songs we do or do not sing, and the size of the church campus. God's church is full of His presence. His people, human yet forgiven, are living authentic lives, full of love for their Creator and Savior and each other.
I believe a healthy church uses the media of our day to reach all ages and diversities of its members. They can sing with reverence Robert Grant's "Oh, worship the king..." written in the 1800s and with the same heart of praise Jack Hayford's, "Majesty, worship His Majesty..." written in 1997. A healthy church uses websites, Youtube videos and blogs to reach others with the same passion the early church used their sandals to walk from town to town preaching about Jesus.
|The Church Awakening|
This church isn't just my church or your church. It's not limited to those in the United States. It's not even confined to those meeting in Gothic cathedrals or small country churches. It's not restricted to your denomination or mine. God's church -- those who "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" come from all walks of life. They may dress like you or they may not. Their preferences in music may match yours and they may not. God may have found them in the university or in jail. They could be a sports hero or a homeless person. If God has accepted them into His church, who are we to criticize? Ultimately, if we do, we are criticizing and questioning the God we profess is living in our hearts and leading our lives.
The young people singing in the mass choir comes from various parts of the United States and other countries. Yet they are passionate about the church of God -- the Triumphant Church. Oh yes, many have tried to destroy it throughout the years. The Pharisees with their rules and rituals tried to destroy it -- even killing the Cornerstone of the church. In the 1500s Bloody Mary tried to stamp it out by burning 300 Christians at the stake. Today although our methods have changed, Satan uses us, whether with an everything goes embracement or nit-picking exclusion, to kill the church -- but it stands today. Yes, God's church stands triumphant -- it is alive and well!