Many of you know we (Seth and I) are starting a church. Officially its name will be Open Fields Church. The question we find people asking, and sometimes not asking when they should, is: Why Church? Why have one, why start one, why attend one.
We are so strongly led into the mindset that our lives are about a personal relationship with Jesus that we dismiss, quite easily, the concepts of a community.
A healthy church does several things for us. Here are just a few:
- “The church brings fullness and focus to our understanding and application of God’s truth, in ways that go deeper than what a “just me and Jesus” approach can provide. … A church community frees you from the crushing weight of self-obsession. It frees you from the bias-confirming bubble of only being exposed to like-minded people who always affirm but never challenge you.” (From “The Wisdom Pyramid” by Brett McCracken) This is to say – if we are to grow we must be challenged! Even Proverbs tells us this. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
- The church helps us be part of a story bigger than just me! I am loved indeed, but this life I’m living is not about me. It is about God. He is the King. He is the One to get the glory (and all the Instagram likes)… NOT ME. The church helps us see the FULL and BIG story that we are a part of!
- The church helps us find roots in community. While I can be all over the place in moments just scrolling through my phone the church can ground me. Remind me that I have a community, a support system, a chosen family to connect to. Furthermore, within the church community, I’m not connecting thru the wifi of entertainment and politics and all the false social media, now I’m connecting IRL (in real life!). Face to face, hand to hand, arm in arm, laughter and fun, learning and growing – IN REAL LIFE!
Community matters! The phrase “it takes a village” while can be very corrupt, also has deep reality to it in the Christian world because for all of us it takes real live people who know us and are present with us to help us be all we can be and are meant to be as the Body of Christ. I need a village to help me learn and grow. So do you. (And so do your children.)
It is worth mentioning – there is health in church for your children as well. If you begin taking your children to church at a young age they will see it as a non-negotiable and very practical “this is just what we do”. Every cultural ideal and philosophy starts with training the children to believe. If we do not do this when it comes to community and church our children will certainly be lost in the shuffle and they WILL find their community somewhere!
It takes a village for us all!