An Oasis of Hope
I think we sometimes approach church more from the standpoint of consumers than communers. We may think of going to church the way we think of going to a movie: What time does the movie start? At seven? Well, they roll the trailers for the first twenty minutes, so we’ll get there at about seven. We’ll park and grab some popcorn first. And when the movie is over, we don’t want to wait for the credits to roll, so we’ll get up and leave.
We can have the same mentality toward church. Oh well, it’s just that worship stuff at the beginning. . . . I’ll get in late and maybe check my texts and e-mail while I’m waiting. Oh, and I’ll leave early.
But that is not the way to go to church. It is a place of worship, it is the house of God, and believers are the family of God. So we need to change the way we think about it. Worship is not the opening act; worship is prayer set to song. It is a time of communing with God.
And we should not go to church merely to have our needs met. Sometimes people will hop around to different churches because they like the style of music at one church or the teaching at another church. But that is actually not good for us spiritually.
We need a consistent place so we can get a consistent theology. We also need a place to be accountable to those who know us and can check in with us and help us in life—as we help them as well. We need a place to develop our gifts and serve the Lord.
The church is like an oasis of hope in a desert of hopelessness.