I’m a contributor for the blog of the Young Adult Leadership Taskforce (YALT), which is a ministry of the denomination I’ve grown up in and still consider myself, though perhaps somewhat loosely, a part of. Church is a topic I’ve thought and written about quite a bit, and it got me thinking about the way we talk about it–or more specifically, the way we talk about the specific church we go to.
Your Church Isn’t Your Church
We like to talk about things we own; “My car,” “My phone,” “My dog,” and so on. We even talk about church this way, saying “My church has a great youth program” or “Yesterday’s service at my church was really moving.” In a sense, this makes sense—it’s clunky to say “The church I attend” and also implies something less than a full commitment to it. But this terminology, and more importantly, the thought behind it, can become problematic when we start to believe that our church is, in fact, ours. When we start to think that the church we attend and serve in belongs to us, it’s not a far-fetched slide from there to begin thinking that the church’s primary purpose is to make our lives better, to fulfill our whims, and to conform to the way we want it to be.
In reality, whether we’re a staff member, volunteer, occasional attender, or otherwise, “our church” does not belong to us. It is merely a part of the Church, which belongs only and ever to God. And the Church doesn’t belong to us, we belong to it.
Keep reading at the YALT Momentum blog.